Barber Foods Chicken Salmonella Outbreak Over After Sickening 15

The Salmonella enteritidis outbreak linked to recalled Barber Foods frozen, stuffed, raw breaded chicken products is over, according to the CDC. In the end, at least 15 people in 7 states were sickened. Four out of the ten people interviewed (40%) were hospitalized.

This is a very high hospitalization rate, double the usual percentage in typical Salmonella outbreaks. All four of the outbreaks strains of Salmonella were resistant to ampicillin and tetracycline, which makes the infections more difficult to treat, and means patients can develop serious bloodstream infections.

Salmonella bacteria can contaminate food and cause an outbreak of infections called salmonellosis.

Barber Foods recalled its products in two batches. The first, on July 2, 2015, was for 58,320 pounds of Chicken Kiev. This recall was announced after the Minnesota Department of Health identified four people infected with Salmonella Enteritidis linked to Barber Foods products. The day before that recall, on July 1, 2015, USDA-FSIS issued a public health alert regarding concerns about this product. The product is raw, even though it can look cooked. And the breading on the product, which can be contaminated with pathogenic bacteria, easily falls off and can cross-contaminate work surfaces, utensils, and other foods. The USDA reminded all consumers to cook the products to a final temperature of 165°F as measured with a food thermometer.

The second recall was announced on July 12, 2015. It was for 1.7 million pounds of frozen raw stuffed and breaded chicken products; in other words, all of the products made with the contaminated source material. The recall included many other types of Barber Foods chicken, including Broccoli and Cheese, Creme Brie, Cordon bleu, and Chicken Tenders.

This outbreak is not linked to the Salmonella outbreak linked to recalled Aspen Foods frozen raw stuffed breaded chicken products. That outbreak is not over.

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The outbreak case count by state is: Connecticut (1), Illinois (2), Minnesota (8), New Hampshire (1), New York (1), Oklahoma (1), and Wisconsin (1). Illness onset dates ranged from April 5, 2015 to July 27, 2015. The patients ranged in age from 4 years to 82 years, with a median age of 32. No deaths were reported.

Epidemiologic, laboratory, and traceback information indicated that raw, frozen, stuffed and breaded chicken entrees produced by Barber Foods was the likely source of this outbreak. Of the ten people who were interviewed, nine, or 90%, reported eating a frozen, raw, stuffed and breaded chicken entree produced by Barber Foods in the week before getting sick.

In addition, the Minnesota Department of Health and Department of Agriculture collected 15 samples of unopened frozen chicken entrees produced by Barber Foods from retail locations and isolated Salmonella from 14 of those samples. An outbreak strain of Salmonella was isolated in one of the samples. And Minnesota officials collected four samples of unopened Barber Foods Chicken Kiev from two ill persons’ homes and found one of the outbreak strains in three of the samples.

The symptoms of a Salmonella infection include fever, chills, muscle aches, headache, abdominal cramps, diarrhea that may be bloody, nausea, and vomiting. Those symptoms usually appear six hours to three days after exposure to the virus. When the bacteria responsible for this illness is resistant to antibiotics, patients may become so ill they need to be hospitalized. In addition, the long term consequences of this illness can be serious, including Reiter’s Syndrome, which can cause reactive arthritis, and irritable bowel syndrome.

If you have any of the recalled products in your home, do not eat them. Throw them away in a double bagged or sealed package so other people and animals can’t get at them, or return them to the place of purchase for a refund. Wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water after handling the package.

If you were sickened in this outbreak, see your doctor, then call one of our experienced attorneys for help at 1-888-377-8900 or fill out our online free consultation form. Our lawyers have represented many clients sickened with Salmonella infections, and our law firm is one of the few in this country that has extensive experience litigating food poisoning cases.

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Category: Food Poisoning
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