Congressional and Public Affairs
WASHINGTON, Oct. 12, 2013 – Costco’s El Camino Real store in South San Francisco, Calif., is recalling 9,043 units (approximately 39,755 lbs.) of rotisserie chicken products that may be contaminated with a strain of Salmonella Heidelberg, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) announced today.
The products subject to recall are:
The products were sold directly to consumers in a Costco located at 1600 El Camino Real, South San Francisco, Calif., between Sept. 11 and Sep. 23, 2013.
This 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. FSIS, working with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the California Department of Public Health and the County of San Mateo Public Health Department, determined through epidemiologic and traceback investigations that there is a link between the Costco El Camino Real rotisserie chicken products and this illness outbreak. FSIS is continuing to work with CDC, public health partners in California and Costco on the investigation. FSIS will continue to provide information as it becomes available.
This group of illnesses is part of a larger cluster of Salmonella Heidelberg illnesses that are known to be multi-drug resistant. For more information about the larger cluster, visit: http://www.cdc.gov/salmonella/heidelberg-10-13/index.html.
FSIS routinely conducts recall effectiveness checks to verify recalling firms notify their customers of the recall and that steps are taken to make certain that the product is no longer available to consumers. Costco has already taken steps to contact every customer who purchased rotisserie chicken products. When available, the retail distribution list(s) will be posted on the FSIS website at: http://www.fsis.usda.gov/wps/portal/fsis/topics/recalls-and-public-health-alerts/current-recalls-and-alerts.
Consumers and media with questions regarding the recall should contact Costco at (800) 774-2678.
FSIS reminds consumers to properly handle raw poultry in a manner to prevent contamination from spreading to other foods and food contact surfaces.
FSIS further reminds consumers of the critical importance of following package cooking instructions for frozen or fresh chicken products and general food safety guidelines when handling and preparing any raw meat or poultry. In particular, while cooking instructions may give a specific number of minutes of cooking for each side of the product in order to attain 165 °F internal temperature, consumers should be aware that actual time may vary depending on the cooking method (broiling, frying, or grilling) and the temperature of the product (chilled versus frozen) so it is important that the final temperature of 165 °F must be reached for safety. Please do not rely on the cooking time for each side of the product, but use a food thermometer.
All poultry products should be cooked to a safe minimum internal temperature of 165° F as determined by a food thermometer. Using a food thermometer is the only way to know that food has reached a high enough temperature to destroy foodborne bacteria.
Consumption of food contaminated with Salmonella can cause salmonellosis, one of the most common bacterial foodborne illnesses. Salmonella infections can be life-threatening, especially to those with weak immune systems, such as infants, the elderly, and persons with HIV or undergoing chemotherapy. The most common symptoms of salmonellosis are diarrhea, abdominal cramps and fever within eight to 72 hours. Additional symptoms may be chills, headache, nausea and vomiting that can last up to seven days.
Consumers with food safety questions can "Ask Karen," the FSIS virtual representative available 24 hours a day at AskKaren.gov. The toll-free USDA Meat and Poultry Hotline 1-888-MPHotline (1-888-674-6854) is available in English and Spanish and can be reached from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. (Eastern Time) Monday through Friday. Recorded food safety messages are available 24 hours a day.
Recommendations for Preventing Salmonellosis:
Wash hands before and after handling raw meat and poultry with warm/hot (preferred) or cold soapy running water by rubbing hands together vigorously for at least 20 seconds. Also wash cutting boards, dishes and utensils with hot (preferred), soapy water and clean up any spills right away. The mechanical action of vigorous rubbing of hands and utensils/surfaces creates friction that helps to dislodge bacteria and viruses from hands and surfaces.
Additionally, warm/hot water helps to dissolve fats/foods, aiding in cleaning/microbe removal and can also assist in deactivation of pathogens. For more information on hand washing, go to http://www.cdc.gov/handwashing.
If soapy water is not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol. Alcohol-based hand sanitizers can reduce the number of germs on hands in some situations. However, sanitizers do not eliminate all types of germs, including viruses.
Keep raw meat, fish and poultry away from other food that will not be thoroughly cooked. Use separate cutting boards for raw meat, poultry, and their juices and thoroughly cooked foods. Thoroughly cook raw meat and poultry to safe internal temperatures (160º F for ground meat such as beef and pork and 165º F for all poultry, as measured with a food thermometer) before eating. Refrigerate raw meat and poultry within two hours after purchase (one hour if temperatures exceed 90º F). Refrigerate cooked meat and poultry within two hours after cooking.
|USDA Recall Classifications|
|Class I||This is a health hazard situation where there is a reasonable probability that the use of the product will cause serious, adverse health consequences or death.|
|Class II||This is a health hazard situation where there is a remote probability of adverse health consequences from the use of the product.|
|Class III||This is a situation where the use of the product will not cause adverse health consequences.|