UPDATE – Salmonella in frozen chicken cordon bleu and chicken broccoli and cheese products has sickened four people in Minnesota. These illnesses are part of a multistate Salmonella outbreak linked to frozen, stuffed, breaded chicken items that includes 28 people in eight states.
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Minnesota Breaded Chicken Salmonella Outbreak
The 28 patients sickened in this outbreak range in age from 3 to 83 years old. They told health officials that they first developed symptoms on dates ranging from February 21, 2021, to June 28, 2021. The number of cases confirmed from each state so far is Arizona (1), Connecticut (1), Illinois (9), Indiana (4), Michigan (1), Minnesota (4), Nevada (1), and New York (7). Eleven people have been hospitalized.
In June, investigators from the Minnesota Agriculture Department found the outbreak strain of Salmonella Enetriditis in Kirkwood Chicken Cordon Bleu. Kirkwood is an ALDI store brand and product label information indicated that at least some Kirkwood breaded chicken products sold at ALDI are made by Serenade Foods in Milford, IN. But Serenade did not issue a recall.
At that time, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (USDA FSIS) said it would need more information, such as purchase documentation, shopper records, or other traceable information; before it could request a recall. Instead, the agency issued a “Public Health Alert” for all frozen, stuffed, breaded chicken products on June 2, 2021. (The alert did not contain brand names or store locations and was a general reminder for consumers to handle raw chicken safely.)
It wasn’t until August 9, 2021, after health officials found the outbreak strain of Salmonella Enteritidis in an unopened package in the freezer of one of the outbreak patients, that Serenade Foods issued a recall. The products, sold under the brand names Kirkwood, Milford Valley, and Dutch Farms included in the Serenade Foods recall were made at the company’s facility in Milford, IN, and sold at a number of stores in various states. In Minnesota, recalled Kirkwood Chicken Cordon Bleu and Kirkwood Chicken Broccoli and Cheese were sold at ALDI stores.
Previous Minnesota Breaded Chicken Salmonella Outbreaks
This is not the first time contaminated frozen, breaded chicken items have sickened Minnesotans. Since 2014, there have been four outbreaks linked to these products, and Minnesotans have been sickened in all of them. Maybe that’s why Minnesota health officials have played pivotal roles in solving all of these outbreaks.
In 2014, a Salmonella outbreak linked to Antioch Farms chicken Kiev sickened six people in Minnesota, hospitalizing two of them. The Antioch Farms chicken Kiev was made by Aspen Foods, a division of Koch Meats.
Two outbreaks in 2015 both included case-patients in Minnesota. One was again linked to products made by Aspen Foods. The breaded chicken products in that outbreak, which sickened five people in Minnesota, were sold under a variety of brand names including: Acclaim, Antioch Farms, Buckley Farms, Centrella Signature, Chestnut Farms, Family Favorites, Kirkwood, Koch Foods, Market Day, Oven Cravers, Rose, Rosebud Farm, Roundy’s, Safeway Kitchens, Schwan’s, Shaner’s, Spartan and Sysco. The other 2015 breaded chicken Salmonella outbreak was linked to products produced by Barber Foods. That seven-state outbreak included eight cases in Minnesota.
Finally, a 2018 breaded chicken Salmonella outbreak included four illnesses in Wisconsin and Minnesota. That outbreak was linked to frozen stuffed, breaded chicken entrees sold at pop-up locations of Ruby’s Pantry.
Symptoms of a Salmonella infection, called salmonellosis, usually appear within six to 72 hours of eating contaminated food. They include abdominal cramps, fever, and diarrhea. The hospitalization rate for this outbreak is three times the average. This means patients are experiencing severe infections. See a doctor right away if you have eaten a Kirkwood chicken cordon bleu or other stuffed, breaded chicken entrée and develop any of the following severe Salmonella symptoms.
- Bloody diarrhea
- Diarrhea lasting more than three days that is not improving
- Diarrhea and a fever higher than 102°F
- Vomiting so much you can’t keep liquids down
- Signs of dehydration, such as decreased urination, dry mouth, feeling dizzy when standing up
Free Salmonella Lawsuit Consultation
If you contracted a Salmonella Enetriditis infection from Kirkwood chicken cordon bleu or another contaminated breaded chicken product and would like a free consultation with an experienced Salmonella lawyer, please contact the Pritzker Hageman Salmonella Legal Team. We have represented clients in every major Salmonella outbreak in the U.S. You can reach us by calling 1-888-377-8900, sending a text to 612-261-0856, or by completing the form below. There is no obligation and we don’t get paid unless we win.
This post was originally published June 6, 2021.
Update: This post was updated on August 9, 2021, to include a link to recall information.
Update: This post was updated on August 16, 2021 to include retail store information.