Tyson recalls nearly 34,000 pounds of chicken for possible Salmonella contamination. The chicken in question was separated mechanically and produced on October 11, 2013. The chicken which was recalled was intended for institutional use such as prisons and schools.
The recall occurred after seven people from a correctional facility in Tennessee became ill after eating the mechanically separated chicken. As of yet no one has died but two of them required hospitalization. All seven were of the victims were diagnosed with Salmonella Heidelberg illnesses.
The connection between the Salmonella Heidelberg outbreak and Tyson was discovered by the Tennessee Department of Health (TDH) and USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Services agents (FSIS) on December 12, 2013. The illness began with the first case on November 29 and on through December 5 of last year.
When food which is contaminated with Salmonella has been consumed it can cause salmonellosis. Salmonellosis is a bacterial food borne illness which usually last four to seven days. The most common symptoms are abdominal cramps, diarrhea and fever which usually begin 12 to 72 hours after intake of the contaminated item.
Generally people can recover without treatment but there are times when the diarrhea is severe enough for the person to be hospitalized. People that are concerned about contracting the illness should contact their health care provider. Those more likely to develop a severe illness are infants, elderly and others with weakened immune systems.
It’s not possible to entirely eliminate bacteria but food preparation is the key. FSIS advises people to safely prepare all raw meat products, whether frozen or fresh. They have also advised that poultry products be cooked to a temperature of 165 degrees Fahrenheit before being consumed. The only way to confirm that poultry has been cooked to a temperature high enough to kill harmful bacteria is by using a food thermometer.
Mechanically separated meat has a greater chance of housing bacteria. This method is defined as a paste-like meat product which is made by forcing turkey, pork, beef or chicken under high pressure through a strainer or similar device in order to separate the bone from the edible meat tissue.
The process entails pulverizing or pureeing the remains left after the manual removal of meat from the bones and then pushing it through a sieve under pressure. This puree includes skin, bone, nerves bone marrow and blood vessels in addition to the scraps of meat remaining on the bones. The resulting product is a blend of muscle or meat and other tissues which are not generally considered meat.
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates 48 million become ill due to salmonella, E. coli, campylobacter and other contaminants yearly.
Tyson Foods recalls nearly 34,000 pounds of chicken for possible Salmonella contamination. The recall applies to 40 pound cases, containing four, 10 pound chubs of Tyson mechanically separated chicken. The chicken comes from case code 2843SDL1412-18 and establishment P-13556.
Facilities which have this batch of chicken are advised not to eat or serve it. For further information on the Tyson Foods recall you can contact their consumer relations department at 866-886-8456.
By: Cherese Jackson (Virginia)
Science World Report