Costco chicken recall : 22 Local Salmonella Cases Linked to Tainted Chicken. The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service announced today that Costco’s El Camino Real store in San Francisco is recalling over 9,000 rotisserie chicken units—over 39,000 pounds of chicken products—for potential Salmonella Heidelberg contamination in connection with the Foster Farms Salmonella outbreak.
According to a press release, the products were sold directly to consumers in a Costco located at 1600 El Camino Real in San Francisco, Calif., between September 11 and 23, 2013.
Products subject to recall are:
8,730 “Kirkland Signature Foster Farms” rotisserie chickens
313 total units of “Kirkland Farm” rotisserie chicken soup, rotisserie chicken leg quarters, and rotisserie chicken salad
The recall announcement came after a group of individuals who fell ill with Salmonella Heidelberg infections reported that they had eaten rotisserie chicken products prepared in and purchased at the Costco El Camino Real store.
Epidemiologic and traceback investigations by FSIS, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the California Department of Public Health and the County of San Mateo Public Health Department revealed the link between the Costco rotisserie chicken products and the Foster Farms Salmonella Heidelberg outbreak.
On Wednesday, October 9, 2013, Consumer Reports wrote that they found a dangerous strain of Salmonella in a sample of Foster Farms chicken, and says that the company should issue a recall. The strain matches one of those in the current outbreak. Dr. Urvashi Rangan, toxicologist and executive director of the Consumer Reports Food Safety and Sustainability Center, said, “Consumer Reports typically doesn’t report findings from an individual test, but the connection of the sample in the current outbreak prompted us to make this information public.”
Foster Farms has told consumers to cook their chicken thoroughly. “That’s outrageous,” Rangan said. “We are calling on Foster Farms and the retail outlets that sell Foster Farms chicken to recall the chicken processed at these plants. How many illnesses will they wait for before taking action?” In addition, rotisserie chicken are already cooked by professionals and are sold ready to eat. Salmonella in ready-to-eat foods is an illegal adulterant.
Consumer Reports has posted an online petition you can sign, asking that Foster Farms recall their contaminated chicken products. So far Kroger and Costco are the only retailers directly addressing this problem. If you’re buying chicken this weekend, the products causing this outbreak have the numbers “P6137″, “P6137A”, and “P7632″ inside the USDA mark of inspection or elsewhere on the package. If you aren’t sure, ask the grocer where the chicken was processed.