The US Department of Agriculture’s (USDA’s) Food Safety and Information Service (FSIS) said that Costco’s El Camino Real store in south San Francisco was recalling rotisserie whole chickens, leg quarters, salads and soups produced by Foster Farms.
Hundreds of people have fallen ill with salmonella heidelberg across 18 states, and FSIS has previously linked cases to poultry from three California processing plants owned by Foster Farms. However, this is the first product recall to be issued in relation to the outbreak.
“This recall was initiated due to concerns about a group of salmonella heidelberg illnesses that may be associated with the consumption of rotisserie chicken products prepared in and purchased at the Costco El Camino Real store,” said the FSIS statement.
“The PFGE pattern (0258) associated with this outbreak is reported rarely in the US. FSIS, working with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the California Department of Public Health and the County of San Mateo Public Health Department, determined through epidemiologic and traceback investigations that there is a link between the Costco El Camino Real rotisserie chicken products and this illness outbreak.”
Foster Farms was threatened with closure by the USDA for having high levels of salmonella at its plants, but has since implemented a control plan and has been granted permission to remain operational under close scrutiny of health officials.
Both Foster Farms and the FSIS have reminded consumers that the risk of infection can be minimised through careful handling of raw poultry, and thorough cooking before eating.