WASHINGTON—Costco announced that its El Camino Real store in South San Francisco, Calif., is recalling approximately 39,755 pounds of rotisserie chicken products that may be contaminated with a strain of Salmonella Heidelberg, USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) announced.
The recall was initiated due to concerns about a group of Salmonella Heidelberg illnesses that may be associated with the consumption of rotisserie chicken products prepared in and purchased at the Costco El Camino Real store. The PFGE pattern (0258) associated with this outbreak is reported rarely in the United States. This group of illnesses is part of a larger cluster of Salmonella Heidelberg illnesses that are known to be multi-drug resistant.
On Oct. 7, FSIS issued a public health alert after reports that 278 illnesses in 17 states have been caused by strains of Salmonella Heidelberg associated with raw chicken products produced by Foster Farms at three facilities in California. Nearly 80% of the illnesses have been reported in California, said the CDC, which has brought back doctors and scientists to monitor foodborne illness in spite of the partial government shutdown that placed food-safety employees on furlough.
“Of the California patients from whom information is available, illness onset dates ranged from March 1 to Sept. 24, 2013,” according to the California Department of Public Health.
FSIS had threatened to withdraw inspectors from Foster Farms, which would have shut down the poultry operation; however, Foster Farms submitted documentation to the agency in response to a letter that raised concerns about the company’s food-safety practices amid a Salmonella outbreak.
“Foster Farms has submitted and implemented immediate substantive changes to their slaughter and processing to allow for continued operations,” said Aaron Lavallee, a spokesman with FSIS. “FSIS inspectors will verify that these changes are being implemented in a continuous and ongoing basis.” Lavallee also said FSIS will step up sampling over the next three months.
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source: USDA’s FSIS: California Wholesale Store Recalls Rotisserie Chicken Products Due to Possible Salmonella Heidelberg Contamination