It’s not just Foster Farms chicken which could be contaminated with Salmonella, according to Consumer Reports.
Several other brands of chicken are also processed at the same plants, they say. Some of these brands include: Kirkland Signature, Safeway Farms, Eating Right, O Organics, Ralphs, Simple Truth Organic and Open Nature.
The plant codes that you should look for on the affected packages of chicken include: P-6137, P-6137A and P-7632.
According to Consumer Reports, one grocery store company, Kroger, has already notified them that they will be removing any raw chicken in their stores which was processed in the affected plants. The chains of stores which they operate includes Food 4 Less (West Coast only), Ralphs, Fred Meyer, King Soopers/City Market, Fry’s, Smith’s (in southern Nevada and New Mexico) and QFC.
Consumer Reports made their recommendation based upon a “Notice of Intended Enforcement” issued by the U.S. Department of Agriculture to the California plants where these brands are processed. According to Urvashi Rangan, a toxicologist and executive director of the Consumer Reports Food Safety and Sustainability Center, this means that there are significant safety concerns with these plants and all products which originate from them, not just those being sold under the Foster Farms brand.
However, if you want to keep yourself completely safe from Salmonella, you will need to do more than just avoiding the affected chicken brands, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Even though undercooked poultry and eggs are probably the most common sources of this bacteria, it can actually be found in several different, perhaps unexpected foods, including vegetables, fruits and ground meats. It can even be found in processed foods such as frozen pot pies.
The CDC recommends that the best thing you can do to protect yourself from Salmonella, both now and on a day-to-day basis, is to follow these guidelines:
- Always keep your work area and utensils clean when preparing food.
- Keep raw meat, chicken and seafood separate from other foods.
- Use a food thermometer to ensure that cooked meats reach high enough temperatures to kill the organism. The required temperature is 145 degrees Fahrenheit for whole meats, 160 degrees for ground meats and 165 degrees for poultry.
- Never eat raw or lightly cooked eggs.
- Keep your refrigerator colder than 40 degrees.
- Never prepare food for other people if you are ill with vomiting or diarrhea.
- Be especially careful about applying these food preparation rules when you are making food for children, the elderly, those who are ill and pregnant women.
Salmonella-related illness will, in most cases, last only about 4-7 days and most people will recover without treatment However, people do sometimes become quite ill and may even die if it their infection is not treated with antibiotics. The current outbreak involving Foster Farms brand chicken has been of special concern among scientists because antibiotic-resistant strains of Salmonella appear to be making people sicker than usual. This resistance to conventional treatments makes preventative measures even more important than ever, they say.
Written by: Nancy Schimelpfening
Antibiotics-Resistant Salmonella at Chicken Plants Sickens Hundreds