Foster Farms issues first recall in 16-month Salmonella outbreak

USDA says it found conclusive link between chicken, ill consumer

Foster Farms has issued a voluntary recall of some of its chicken products, the first in a 16-month Salmonella outbreak.

According to its website, Foster Farms on July 3 issued a voluntary Class I recall of chicken products produced in March with “use or freeze by” dates from March 21, 2014, to March 29, 2014, with a plant code of P-6137, P-6137A or P-7632, and frozen Sunland chicken products with “best by” dates of March 7, 2015, March 11, 2015, and March 25, 2015, due to the potential presence of Salmonella Heidelberg. Products currently in grocery stores are not involved in the recall, the company said.

The recalled products were sold in California, Hawaii, Washington, Arizona, Nevada, Idaho, Utah, Oregon and Alaska.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) said it has “conclusive evidence” linking Salmonella Heidelberg in Foster Farms chicken to illness in a single person who ate the meat. This is the first time the USDA has been able to verify the pathogen in chicken consumed and in a person who has become ill.

According to reports, the USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Services (FSIS) said the illness, tied to a 10-year-old California girl, was reported June 23 and the chicken packaging was retrieved the next day from the person’s home. Tests found a match for the outbreak strain on July 2 and the recall was issued July 3.

An update released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) on May 22 said the Salmonella Heidelberg outbreak has affected consumers in 27 states and Puerto Rico and has infected 574 individuals.

In a statement on its website, the company said: “At Foster Farms, our first concern is always the health and safety of the people who enjoy our products, and we stand committed to doing our part to enhance the safety of our nation’s food supply.”

A full list of the recalled products is available here.