Blog Archives

Bar S recalls chicken and pork products including franks and corn dogs

The Altus, OK-based Bar-S Foods Company, late Tuesday recalled approximately 372,684 pounds of chicken and pork hot dog and corn dog products that may be adulterated with Listeria monocytogenes, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS).

The ready-to-eat, chicken and pork hot dog and corn dog items were produced on July 10, 11, 12, and 13, 2016. The following products are subject to recall:

  • BarSfranklabel_406x25016-oz/1-lb. packages of “BAR-S Classic BUN LENGTH Franks MADE WITH CHICKEN, PORK ADDED” with “Use By” date of 10/11/2016 and case code 209.
  • 12-oz. packages of “BAR-S CLASSIC Franks MADE WITH CHICKEN, PORK ADDED” with package code 6338, “Use By” date of 10/10/2016 and case code 6405.
  • 24-oz./1.5-lb. cartons of “SIGNATURE Pick 5 CORNDOGS – 8 Honey Batter Dipped Franks On A Stick” with a “Use By” date of 4/6/2017 and case code 6071.
  • 42.72-oz./2.67-lb. cartons of “BAR-S CLASSIC CORN DOGS – 16 Honey Batter Dipped Franks On A Stick” with “Use By” dates of 4/7/2017 and 4/8/2017 and case code 6396.
  • 48-oz./3-lb. cartons of “BAR-S CLASSIC CORN DOGS – 16 Honey Batter Dipped Franks On A Stick” with package code 14054, “Use By” dates of 4/6/2017 and 4/9/2017, and case code 14038.

The products subject to recall bear establishment number “EST. P-81A” inside the USDA mark of inspection. These items were shipped to retail locations nationwide.

Bar-S Foods notified FSIS’ Dallas District Office earlier on July 19, 2016, of its intention to recall five chicken and pork hot dog and corn dog products that could potentially be contaminated with Listeria monocytogenes.

The company has not received test results for Listeria monocytogenes in connection with the recalled products, but due to recurring Listeria species issues at the firm, it has decided to remove the products from commerce as a precautionary measure. There have been no confirmed reports of illnesses or adverse reactions due to consumption of these products.

Consumption of food contaminated with L. monocytogenes can cause listeriosis, a serious infection that primarily affects older adults, persons with weakened immune systems, and pregnant women and their newborns. Less commonly, persons outside these risk groups are affected.

Listeriosis can cause fever, muscle aches, headache, stiff neck, confusion, loss of balance and convulsions sometimes preceded by diarrhea or other gastrointestinal symptoms. An invasive infection spreads beyond the gastrointestinal tract. In pregnant women, the infection can cause miscarriages, stillbirths, premature delivery or life-threatening infection of the newborn. In addition, serious and sometimes fatal infections in older adults and persons with weakened immune systems. Listeriosis is treated with antibiotics. Persons in the higher-risk categories who experience flu-like symptoms within two months after eating contaminated food should seek medical care and tell the health care provider about eating the contaminated food.

FSIS and Bar S are concerned that some product may be frozen and in consumers’ freezers.

Consumers who have purchased these products are urged not to consume them. These products should be thrown away or returned to the place of purchase.

FSIS routinely conducts recall effectiveness checks to verify recalling firms notify their customers of the recall and that steps are taken to make certain that the product is no longer available to consumers. When available, the retail distribution list(s) will be posted on the FSIS website.

 

Food Safety News

ConAgra expands recall of chicken and beef over metal fragments

The July 6 recall by ConAgra Foods was expanded Friday to include an additional 191,791 pounds–up from the original 3,806 pounds—for a total of 195,597 pounds of chicken and beef P.F. Chang’s brand entrée products that may be contaminated with extraneous materials, specifically metal.

recalled P.F. Changs chicken beef ConAgraThe problem was first discovered on July 1 by an employee at the Russellville, AR ConAgra facility who observed metal fragments while dispensing sugar from a supplier for sauce formulation during processing. No injuries have yet been associated with the metal fragment contamination.

The fragments range in size between 2 and 9 millimeters (mm) in diameter, and are curled, malleable and shiny. The metal fragments may be embedded in the sauce contained within the frozen entrée products.

The frozen chicken and beef entrée items were produced on various dates between May 31, 2016 and June 22, 2016. The following products are subject to recall:

• 22-oz. plastic bagged meal packages of “P.F. Chang’s Home Menu Signature Spicy Chicken” with “Use By” date of 6/08/17 and case code 5006616500.

• 22-oz. plastic bagged meal packages of “P.F. Chang’s Home Menu Mongolian Style Beef” with “Use By” date of 6/17/17 and case code 5006617400.

• 22-oz. plastic bagged meal packages of “P.F. Chang’s Home Menu Mongolian Style Beef” with “Use By” date of 6/1/17 and case code 5006615800.

• 22-oz. plastic bagged meal packages of “P.F. Chang’s Home Menu Beef with Broccoli” with “Use By” date of 6/4/17 and case code 5006616100.

• 22-oz. plastic bagged meal packages of “P.F. Chang’s Home Menu Sweet & Sour Chicken” with “Use By” date of 6/3/17 and case code 5006616000.

• 22-oz. plastic bagged meal packages of “P.F. Chang’s Home Menu General Chang’s Chicken” with “Use By” date of 6/3/17 and case code 5006616000.

• 22-oz. plastic bagged meal packages of “P.F. Chang’s Home Menu Garlic Chicken with Dan Dan Noodles” with “Use By” date of 6/8/17 and case code 5006616500.

• 22-oz. plastic bagged meal packages of “P.F. Chang’s Home Menu Grilled Chicken Teriyaki with Lo Mein Noodles” with “Use By” date of 6/10/17 and case code 5006616700.

• 22-oz. plastic bagged meal packages of “P.F. Chang’s Home Menu Signature Spicy Chicken” with “Use By” date of 5/26/17 and case code 5006615200.

The products subject to recall bear establishment number “EST. 233” or “EST. P-115” inside the USDA mark of inspection. These items were shipped to distributors and retail locations nationwide.

The resulting sauce is a component in the frozen entrée products. On July 14, 2016, ConAgra Foods was notified by the supplier of an FDA recall involving multiple production lots of sugar due to potential metal contamination. The recall action involved additional lots of sugar potentially used in FSIS regulated products at ConAgra Foods, and resulted in this expansion of the initial recall action.

Consumers who have purchased these products are urged not to consume them. These products should be thrown away or returned to the place of purchase. Anyone concerned about an injury or illness should contact a healthcare provider.

FSIS routinely conducts recall effectiveness checks to verify recalling firms notify their customers of the recall and that steps are taken to make certain that the product is no longer available to consumers. When available, the retail distribution list(s) will be posted on the FSIS website.

Food Safety News

Tracing evolution of chicken flu virus yields insight into origins of deadly H7N9 strain

An international research team has shown how changes in a flu virus that has plagued Chinese poultry farms for decades helped create the novel avian H7N9 influenza A virus that has sickened more than 375 people since 2013. The research appears in the current online early edition of the scientific journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

The results underscore the need for continued surveillance of flu viruses circulating on poultry farms and identified changes in the H9N2 virus that could serve as an early warning sign of emerging flu viruses with the potential to trigger a pandemic and global health emergency. The work focused on the H9N2 chicken virus, which causes egg production to drop and leaves chickens vulnerable to deadly co-infections. Scientists at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital and the China Agricultural University, Beijing, led the study.

Researchers used whole genome sequencing to track the evolution of the H9N2 chicken virus between 1994 and 2013. The analysis involved thousands of viral sequences and showed that the genetic diversity of H9N2 viruses fell sharply in 2009. From 2010 through 2013 an H9N2 virus emerged as the predominant subtype thanks to its genetic makeup that allowed it to flourish despite widespread vaccination of chickens against H9N2 viruses.

Evidence in this study suggests the eruptions set the stage for the emergence of the H7N9 avian virus that has caused two outbreaks in humans since 2013, with 115 confirmed deaths. The H9N2 infected chickens likely served as the mixing vessel where H9N2 and other avian flu viruses from migratory birds and domestic ducks swapped genes, researchers noted. The resulting H7N9 virus included six genes from the H9N2.

“Sequencing the viral genome allowed us to track how H9N2 evolved across time and geography to contribute to the H7N9 virus that emerged as a threat to human health in 2013,” said Robert Webster, Ph.D., a member of the St. Jude Department of Infectious Diseases. He and Jinhua Liu, Ph.D., of the College of Veterinary Medicine at the China Agricultural University, are co-corresponding authors.

“The insights gained from this collaboration suggest that tracking genetic diversity of H9N2 on poultry farms could provide an early warning of emerging viruses with the potential to spark a pandemic,” Webster said.

The analysis also provided insight into the creation of the H9N2 virus that emerged as the predominant subtype in 2010. Factors included widespread use of poultry vaccines and the natural tendency of flu to mutate, mix and swap genes.

Beginning in 1998, vaccinating poultry against H9N2 prevented flu outbreak for more than a decade. Vaccines work by recognizing and attaching to the spike-shaped hemagglutinin (HA) protein on the surface of the flu virus. That blocks the virus from infecting healthy cells. Changes in the HA gene that change the shape of the HA protein can reduce vaccine effectiveness and result in disease outbreaks. HA mutations occur naturally over time. Vaccines increase pressure for HA mutations that help the virus escape vaccine detection and cause infection.

Researchers at the China Agricultural University checked H9N2 vaccine effectiveness against the predominant H9N2 virus from 2010-11. Working in vaccinated and unvaccinated chickens, investigators found the vaccine neither protected vaccinated chickens from infection nor prevented spread of the virus in vaccinated chickens. Those failures suggest that due to HA mutations vaccines were less able to recognize the virus.

The tendency of flu viruses to swap genes also contributed to the enhanced ability of the predominant H9N2 subtype to spread. Researchers found that prior to the virus’ emergence as the predominant H9N2 the virus had swapped genes with quail and duck influenza viruses.

The combination fueled the recent outbreaks of H9N2 on chicken farms by helping the virus escape vaccine detection and spread rapidly in vaccinated and unvaccinated poultry, said co-first author Juan Pu, Ph.D., a St. Jude visiting scientist from the China Agricultural University. The other first authors are Shuoguo Wang, Ph.D., of the St. Jude Department of Computational Biology, and Yanbo Yin, Ph.D., of Qingdao Agricultural University, Qingdao, China.

“The emergence of this dominant H9N2 virus was the first step in the genesis of the H7N9 viruses because it greatly increased the likelihood of reassortment between H9N2 and other flu subtypes,” Liu said. Reassortment refers to the tendency of flu viruses to swap genes.

Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.

Agriculture and Food News — ScienceDaily

Tracing evolution of chicken flu virus yields insight into origins of deadly H7N9 strain

An international research team has shown how changes in a flu virus that has plagued Chinese poultry farms for decades helped create the novel avian H7N9 influenza A virus that has sickened more than 375 people since 2013. The research appears in the current online early edition of the scientific journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

The results underscore the need for continued surveillance of flu viruses circulating on poultry farms and identified changes in the H9N2 virus that could serve as an early warning sign of emerging flu viruses with the potential to trigger a pandemic and global health emergency. The work focused on the H9N2 chicken virus, which causes egg production to drop and leaves chickens vulnerable to deadly co-infections. Scientists at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital and the China Agricultural University, Beijing, led the study.

Researchers used whole genome sequencing to track the evolution of the H9N2 chicken virus between 1994 and 2013. The analysis involved thousands of viral sequences and showed that the genetic diversity of H9N2 viruses fell sharply in 2009. From 2010 through 2013 an H9N2 virus emerged as the predominant subtype thanks to its genetic makeup that allowed it to flourish despite widespread vaccination of chickens against H9N2 viruses.

Evidence in this study suggests the eruptions set the stage for the emergence of the H7N9 avian virus that has caused two outbreaks in humans since 2013, with 115 confirmed deaths. The H9N2 infected chickens likely served as the mixing vessel where H9N2 and other avian flu viruses from migratory birds and domestic ducks swapped genes, researchers noted. The resulting H7N9 virus included six genes from the H9N2.

“Sequencing the viral genome allowed us to track how H9N2 evolved across time and geography to contribute to the H7N9 virus that emerged as a threat to human health in 2013,” said Robert Webster, Ph.D., a member of the St. Jude Department of Infectious Diseases. He and Jinhua Liu, Ph.D., of the College of Veterinary Medicine at the China Agricultural University, are co-corresponding authors.

“The insights gained from this collaboration suggest that tracking genetic diversity of H9N2 on poultry farms could provide an early warning of emerging viruses with the potential to spark a pandemic,” Webster said.

The analysis also provided insight into the creation of the H9N2 virus that emerged as the predominant subtype in 2010. Factors included widespread use of poultry vaccines and the natural tendency of flu to mutate, mix and swap genes.

Beginning in 1998, vaccinating poultry against H9N2 prevented flu outbreak for more than a decade. Vaccines work by recognizing and attaching to the spike-shaped hemagglutinin (HA) protein on the surface of the flu virus. That blocks the virus from infecting healthy cells. Changes in the HA gene that change the shape of the HA protein can reduce vaccine effectiveness and result in disease outbreaks. HA mutations occur naturally over time. Vaccines increase pressure for HA mutations that help the virus escape vaccine detection and cause infection.

Researchers at the China Agricultural University checked H9N2 vaccine effectiveness against the predominant H9N2 virus from 2010-11. Working in vaccinated and unvaccinated chickens, investigators found the vaccine neither protected vaccinated chickens from infection nor prevented spread of the virus in vaccinated chickens. Those failures suggest that due to HA mutations vaccines were less able to recognize the virus.

The tendency of flu viruses to swap genes also contributed to the enhanced ability of the predominant H9N2 subtype to spread. Researchers found that prior to the virus’ emergence as the predominant H9N2 the virus had swapped genes with quail and duck influenza viruses.

The combination fueled the recent outbreaks of H9N2 on chicken farms by helping the virus escape vaccine detection and spread rapidly in vaccinated and unvaccinated poultry, said co-first author Juan Pu, Ph.D., a St. Jude visiting scientist from the China Agricultural University. The other first authors are Shuoguo Wang, Ph.D., of the St. Jude Department of Computational Biology, and Yanbo Yin, Ph.D., of Qingdao Agricultural University, Qingdao, China.

“The emergence of this dominant H9N2 virus was the first step in the genesis of the H7N9 viruses because it greatly increased the likelihood of reassortment between H9N2 and other flu subtypes,” Liu said. Reassortment refers to the tendency of flu viruses to swap genes.

Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.

Agriculture and Food News — ScienceDaily

UK Sales of Chicken Decline, Possibly Due to Campylobacter News

Grocery purchases of chicken in the United Kingdom have declined nearly 7 percent by volume and 4 percent by sales since this time last year.

Experts are speculating that the public has been influenced by media coverage of the high levels of Campylobacter contamination found on raw chicken, according to meatinfo.co.uk.

Media coverage related to food safety in the UK has largely focused on Campylobacter in chicken this year. First, a whistleblower at a poultry factory revealed alleged violations of hygiene rules for two major chicken producers, and, later in the year, the UK’s Food Standards Agency released a report stating that 70 percent of fresh whole chickens bought in the UK are contaminated with some level of Campylobacter.

The statistics on lower chicken sales were released by market research firm Kantar Worldpanel, which speculated that the heightened news around Campylobacter on chicken likely contributed to the situation. But other factors are credited with the decline in chicken sales as well, such as increased spending power leading to the purchase of more expensive meats.

In November, leading UK grocery retailer Marks & Spencer announced a new initiative to reduce the presence of Campylobacter on chicken in its stores, the “Campylobacter Challenge“. The plan intends to reduce chicken contamination levels through a combination of five strategies, including rapidly chilling chicken carcasses and wrapping them in a bagging system that allows customers to cook the chickens without physically handling the raw meat.

Food Safety News

Spending Bill Bans ‘Chinese Chicken’ From Federal Meal Programs

A provision included in the $ 1.1-trillion spending bill Congress passed last week and which is now headed to the president’s desk prevents poultry processed in China from being used in the National School Lunch Program, School Breakfast Program, Child and Adult Care Food Program and Summer Food Service Program (Section 736 of Division A).

Four Chinese poultry-processing plants have been approved to export cooked chicken to the U.S. as long as the chicken was raised and slaughtered in the U.S., Canada or Chile.

The ban on including such products in federal meal programs was introduced by Rep. Rosa DeLauro (D-CT) and cosponsored by Rep. Chellie Pingree (D-ME). Both are members of the House Appropriations Committee and added the amendment to the Fiscal Year 2015 agriculture appropriations bill last spring.

Congressional leaders included the provision in the omnibus spending bill that funds the federal government through Sept. 30, 2015, the end of FY 2015.

“Banning Chinese chicken from school meals is a common-sense step to protect our kids,” DeLauro said in a statement. “China’s food safety record is atrocious, yet last year USDA deemed poultry processed in China to be as safe as poultry processed here. Children are among the most susceptible to foodborne illness. We cannot take unnecessary risks with their health.”

Nancy Huehnergarth told Food Safety News that she and Bettina Siegel, co-sponsors of a Change.org petition to keep poultry processed in China off U.S. plates, were relieved to see the provision carry over into the omnibus bill.

“We’re really happy,” Huehnergarth said. “It’s exactly what we were hoping for.”

In garnering nearly 329,000 signatures, the petition showed strong grassroots support for the ban. The team plans to declare victory once the president signs the bill, which he has indicated he plans to do.

China, on the other hand, is not so pleased because of provisions in the U.S. bill that “discriminate against Chinese companies, violate the principles of fair trade and send the wrong signal,” International Business Times reported. In addition to the poultry ban, the bill also restricts purchase of IT systems produced in China.

“China urges U.S. to take effective measures to correct the erroneous practice and create a favorable environment for the healthy development of Sino-US economic and trade relations,” stated Chinese Ministry of Commerce spokesman Sun Jiwen.

Food Safety News

Largest School Districts Going With Antibiotic-Free Chicken

On Tuesday evening, the Urban School Food Alliance announced its new antibiotic-free standard for companies to follow when supplying chicken products to its schools.

The Alliance is a coalition of the largest school districts in the U.S., includes New York City, Los Angeles, Chicago, Miami-Dade, Dallas and Orlando, and serves nearly 2.9 million students every day.

Under the new standard, all chicken products must be produced under a USDA Process Verified Program that includes compliance with the following:

  • No animal byproducts in the feed.
  • Raised on an all-vegetarian diet.
  • Humanely raised as outlined in the National Chicken Council Animal Welfare Guidelines.
  • No antibiotics ever.

“The standards we’re asking from the manufacturers go above and beyond the quality of the chicken we normally purchase at local supermarkets,” said USFA Chairman Eric Goldstein and chief executive officer of School Support Services for the New York City Department of Education. “This move by the Alliance shows that school food directors across the country truly care about the health and wellness of students.”

Overuse of antibiotics — both in human medicine and in meat and poultry production — contributes to the spread of antibiotic-resistant bacteria. Mark Izeman, senior attorney with the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC), which helped the Alliance develop the antibiotic-free standard, said that the change “will not only have a dramatic impact on the quality of school meals, but will also help push the entire food industry to move away from animals raised with improper antibiotic use.”

Food Safety News

Small Percentage of Campylobacter in Canadian Chicken Antibiotic-Resistant

A small percentage of Campylobacter isolated from Canadian retail chicken meat is resistant to a key antibiotic used to treat bacterial infections in humans, according to a report by the Public Health Agency of Canada published in the July edition of Emerging Infectious Diseases.

The report tracked resistance to ciprofloxacin in Campylobacter from chicken meat between 2003 and 2010 across seven Canadian provinces, finding the most notable rates of resistance in British Columbia and Saskatchewan.

Among the years with available data, resistance ranged from roughly 4 percent to 29 percent in British Columbia, and 2 percent to 15 percent in Saskatchewan. Ontario, Quebec, and the Maritime provinces did not see more than a 4 percent resistance rate, other than the rate of 14 percent noted in Quebec in 2007.

The highest rate of resistance was found in British Columbia in 2009, when 22 out of 77 (29 percent) Campylobacter samples were resistant to ciprofloxacin. Saskatchewan also saw its highest rate of resistance, 7 out of 48 (15 percent), that year.

Ciprofloxacin is the most common drug used to treat Campylobacter infection in Canada, where an average of 31 in 100,000 people are sickened by the gastrointestinal bacteria each year, falling ill with symptoms such as vomiting, diarrhea and nausea. The World Health Organization considers fluoroquinolones such as ciprofloxacin critically important to human medicine.

Many public health professionals hypothesize that antimicrobial drug use on farm animals, including among broiler chickens, has contributed to rising levels of antibiotic resistance in some pathogens, though data on such drug use is not made available by chicken growers in Canada. The U.S. banned fluoroquinolone use on chickens in 2005, though ciprofloxacin resistance in Campylobacter in the U.S. has not seemed to drop as a result, according to the report’s authors.

According to the report, the Canadian chicken industry is working with the country’s government to create a farm surveillance program that would collect data on drug use and resistance.

Health Canada’s Veterinary Drugs Directorate discourages non-therapeutic use of Category I antibiotics (including ciprofloxacin) in food-producing animals.

This report follows a study earlier this month declaring ciprofloxacin-resistant Salmonella a rare but “growing concern” in Canada, and another out of Europe and Africa that found rising levels of resistant Salmonella in North Africa and the Middle East.

Food Safety News

Chicken ‘Juice’ Helps Campylobacter Thrive in Kitchens, Study Finds

The liquid that comes off of a defrosting chicken provides a safe harbor for Campylobacter, according to a new study.

Chicken “juice” from a defrosted bird turns a surface into a protein-rich environment in which Campylobacter can form a protective biofilm, reported a study from the Institute of Food Research. This biofilm helps bacteria attach to things and survive tough conditions.

The researchers used strains of Campylobacter jejuni, the form of the bacteria that causes 90 percent of Campylobacter foodborne illness infections, for the study.

While all Campylobacter usually has trouble living outside its natural environment, a chicken’s gut, chicken juice turns a formerly unfriendly surface into one that attracts Camplyobacter biofilm, found the researchers.

“This film…makes it much easier for the Campylobacter bacteria to attach to the surface, and it provides them with an additional rich food source,” said Helen Brown, a PhD student at IFR, funded by the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council. Brown’s studentship is co-funded by Campden BRI, in a statement.

While other types of molecules from animals, such as bovine serum proteins or milk, either slow or inhibit biofilm formation, the liquid expelled by chicken enhances it, according to the paper.

“This study highlights the importance of thorough cleaning of food preparation surfaces to limit the potential of bacteria to form biofilms,” said Brown.

Researchers designed the experiment to imitate conditions in an industrial kitchen, putting chicken juice on stainless steel surfaces.

While the presence of chicken broth increased Campylobacter attachment and growth, the concentration of chicken broth didn’t make a difference. More concentrated broth did not help Campylobacter biofilm to attach and grow.

Chicken broth also evened the playing field for different strains of Campylobacter. Strains that have no flagella, or tail, usually attach to surfaces and form biofilms more easily, but chicken broth made it easier for strains without flagella to attach to surfaces too, according to the study.

The researchers said their findings point to a need for more research on animal juices and bacteria.

“This highlights the need for future studies to not only investigate the link between chicken or pork soil and surface conditioning but also assess the effect of other meat exudates on biofilm formation,” reads the paper’s conclusion.

The study was published ahead of print Sept. 5 in Applied and Environmental Microbiology.

Food Safety News

Breaded Chicken Products Recalled for Possible Staphylococcal Enterotoxin

Murry’s Inc. of Lebanon, PA, is recalling approximately 31,689 pounds of gluten-free breaded chicken products that may be contaminated with Staphylococcal enterotoxin , the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) announced Saturday.

The products have a best-by date of Aug. 9, 2015. The following products are subject to recall:

  • 12-oz. boxes of “Bell & Evans Gluten Free Breaded Chicken Breast Nuggets.”
  • 10.5-oz. boxes of “Bell & Evans Gluten Free Breaded Chicken Breast.”

The products subject to recall bear the establishment number “P-516” inside the USDA mark of inspection. These products were shipped to retail locations nationwide.

The problem was discovered by the Colorado Department of Agriculture during a retail surveillance and sampling program funded by USDA at a Federal Emergency Response Network lab. After being notified of the positive test result, FSIS conducted traceback activities.

FSIS and the company have received no reports of adverse reactions due to consumption of these products. Anyone concerned about a reaction should contact a healthcare provider.

FSIS routinely conducts recall effectiveness checks to verify recalling firms notify their customers of the recall and that steps are taken to make certain that the product is no longer available to consumers. When available, the retail distribution list(s) will be posted on the FSIS website at www.fsis.usda.gov/recalls.

Consumers and media with questions about the recall can contact Murry’s customer service, at (717) 273-9361.

Staphylococcal food poisoning is a gastrointestinal illness. It is caused by eating foods contaminated with toxin-producing Staphylococcus aureus.

Staphylococcus aureus is a common bacterium found on the skin and in the noses of healthy people and animals. Staphylococcus aureus can produce seven different toxins that are frequently responsible for food poisoning.

Staphylococcal enterotoxins are fast-acting, sometimes causing illness in as little as 30 minutes. Symptoms usually develop within one to six hours after eating contaminated food. Patients typically experience several of the following: nausea, vomiting, stomach cramps, and diarrhea. The illness is usually mild, and most patients recover after one to three days.

To prevent Staphylococcal contamination, keep kitchens and food-serving areas clean and sanitized. Keep hot foods hot (more than 140 degrees F) and cold foods cold (40 degrees F or less). Make sure to wash hands and under fingernails vigorously with soap and water before handling and preparing food. Do not prepare food if you have an open sore or wound on your hands or if you have a nose or eye infection.

Food Safety News

Chicken in Minnesota Outbreak Recalled for Salmonella Contamination

Chicago-based Aspen Foods Division of Koch Meats is recalling 28,980 pounds of chicken products shipped to Minnesota that may be contaminated with Salmonella Enteritidis. The U.S. Department of Agriculture requested Aspen Foods conduct this recall after the product was found to have caused an outbreak in Minnesota that has sickened at least six people.

The recalled product includes partially prepared chicken products sold by retailers under the Antioch Farms brand name, with sell-by dates of October 1, 2015 and October 7, 2015.  The products subject to recall bear the establishment number “P-1358” inside the USDA mark of inspection.

The products are raw, frozen, breaded and pre-browned, stuffed chicken entrees.

The chicken products were produced on July 2, 2014 and July 8, 2014. These products were shipped to retail stores and distribution centers in Minnesota.

The product is identified as:

  • Single 5-ounce plastic packets of Raw Stuffed Chicken Breast Breaded, Boneless Breast of Chicken with Rib Meat “A La Kiev”

The USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service was notified of an investigation of Salmonella Enteritidis illnesses on October 9, 2014.

Working in conjunction with Minnesota Department of Health, the Minnesota Department of Agriculture, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, FSIS determined that there is a link between the Chicken Kiev from Aspen Foods Division of Koch Foods and this illness cluster.

The illness onset dates in the outbreak range from August, 17, 2014 to September, 27, 2014. At least one patient has been hospitalized.

All six patients reported eating the chicken Kiev product prior to developing symptoms. Samples of product collected during the course of this investigation by Minnesota Department of Agriculture tested positive for Salmonella Enteritidis with the outbreak strain.

On October 17, 2014 FSIS received evidence that linked the illnesses associated with this outbreak to a specific product or production lot. Evidence that is required for a recall includes obtaining case-patient product that tests positive for the same particular strain of Salmonella that caused the illness, and packaging on product that clearly links the product to a specific facility and a specific production date, which were all met.

FSIS is continuing to work with our public health partners on this investigation and will provide updated information as it becomes available.

Food Safety News

Tyson Announces Removal of Antibiotics From its Chicken Hatcheries

Tyson Foods has announced that, as of Oct. 1, it no longer uses antibiotics in its 35 chicken hatcheries.

“Since the antibiotic typically used in hatcheries is important to human health, this is a significant first step toward our goal of reducing the use of antibiotics that are also used in human medicine,” the company stated.

Last month, Perdue announced that it made the same transition.

Tyson still uses antibiotics in chicken feed “when prescribed by a veterinarian to treat or prevent disease” and said that the “vast majority of the antibiotics” they use aren’t used in humans.

The company also said that it’s researching “alternative treatments and protocols that will eventually eliminate the application of any antibiotics used in human medicine from poultry feed.”

Tyson offers a completely antibiotic-free chicken under its NatureRaised Farms brand.

Steven Roach, senior analyst for Keep Antibiotics Working, said that the coalition is pleased about the change, but that there’s still room for improvement.

“Tyson’s position on using human class drugs for disease prevention is something we oppose and seems to be a step backward for Tyson. So kudos on the hatchery change, but they could do more on antibiotics in their chicken feed,” he said.

Food Safety News

Bravo Turkey and Chicken Pet Foods Recalled for Potential Salmonella Contamination

Bravo of Manchester, CT is recalling select lots of Bravo Turkey and Chicken pet foods for dogs and cats because they have the potential to be contaminated with Salmonella.

The recalled product was distributed nationwide beginning on November 14, 2013 to distributors, retail stores, internet retailers and directly to consumers. The product can be identified by the batch ID code (best used by date) printed on the side of the plastic tube.

These products are being recalled because they have the potential to be contaminated with Salmonella:

RAW FOOD DIET BRAVO! TURKEY BLEND FOR DOGS AND CATS
Product Number: 31-102
Size: 2 lb. (32 OZ) plastic tubes
Best used by date: 11-05-15
UPC: 829546311025
Keep Frozen

Bravo! Blends All Natural Chicken Blend diet for dogs & cats
Product Number: 21-102
Size: 2 lb. (32 OZ) plastic tubes
Best used by date: 08-11-16
UPC: 829546211028
Keep Frozen

These products are being recalled out of an abundance of caution because they were manufactured in the same manufacturing facility or on the same day as products that tested positive:

Premium Turkey Formula BRAVO Balance RAW DIET
Product Number: 31-405
Size: 5 lb. (80 OZ) 2.3KG plastic tubes
Best used by date: 11-05-15
UPC: 829546314057
Keep Frozen

Bravo! Blends All Natural Chicken Blend diet for dogs & cats
Product Number: 21-105
Size: 5 lb. (80 OZ) 2.3KG plastic tubes
Best used by date: 08-11-16
UPC: 829546211059
Keep Frozen

The recall was initiated after routine testing by the Nebraska Department of Agriculture revealed the presence of Salmonella in two lots of product. This batch tested negative by a third party independent laboratory prior to release for distribution to consumers. The company has received no reports of illness in either people or animals associated with these products to date.

In addition to the voluntary recall of the above products, Bravo has chosen to voluntarily withdraw the following poultry products from the marketplace to provide its customers with the certainty of safety. Those products include all sizes (2 lb., 5 lb. and 10 lb.) of Bravo Chicken Blend(s), Bravo Turkey Blend(s), Bravo Balance Chicken Balance and Bravo Balance Premium Turkey Formula frozen raw diet products with best used by dates between June 20, 2016 and September 18, 2016. This is being done out of an abundance of caution despite no evidence of any manufacturing defect or distribution problem. None of these products are known to have tested positive for the presence of pathogens. This market withdrawal has not been requested by the FDA, but is being done voluntarily by Bravo.

The recalled product should not be sold or fed to pets. Pet owners who have the affected product at home should dispose of this product in a safe manner (example, a securely covered trash receptacle). Customers who have purchased the recalled pet food can return to the store where purchased.

Salmonella can affect animals eating the products and there is risk to humans from handling contaminated pet products, especially if they have not thoroughly washed their hands after having contact with the products or any surfaces exposed to these products.

Healthy people infected with Salmonella should monitor themselves for some or all of the following symptoms: nausea, vomiting, diarrhea or bloody diarrhea, abdominal cramping and fever. Salmonella can result in more serious ailments, including arterial infections, endocarditis, arthritis, muscle pain, eye irritation, and urinary tract symptoms. Consumers exhibiting these signs after having contact with this product should contact their healthcare providers.

Pets with Salmonella infections may be lethargic and have diarrhea or bloody diarrhea, fever, and vomiting. Some pets will have only decreased appetite, fever and abdominal pain. Infected but otherwise healthy pets can be carriers and infect other animals or humans. If your pet has consumed the recalled product and has these symptoms, please contact your veterinarian.

Food Safety News

Bravo Turkey and Chicken Pet Foods Recalled for Potential Salmonella Contamination

Bravo of Manchester, CT is recalling select lots of Bravo Turkey and Chicken pet foods for dogs and cats because they have the potential to be contaminated with Salmonella.

The recalled product was distributed nationwide beginning on November 14, 2013 to distributors, retail stores, internet retailers and directly to consumers. The product can be identified by the batch ID code (best used by date) printed on the side of the plastic tube.

These products are being recalled because they have the potential to be contaminated with Salmonella:

RAW FOOD DIET BRAVO! TURKEY BLEND FOR DOGS AND CATS
Product Number: 31-102
Size: 2 lb. (32 OZ) plastic tubes
Best used by date: 11-05-15
UPC: 829546311025
Keep Frozen

Bravo! Blends All Natural Chicken Blend diet for dogs & cats
Product Number: 21-102
Size: 2 lb. (32 OZ) plastic tubes
Best used by date: 08-11-16
UPC: 829546211028
Keep Frozen

These products are being recalled out of an abundance of caution because they were manufactured in the same manufacturing facility or on the same day as products that tested positive:

Premium Turkey Formula BRAVO Balance RAW DIET
Product Number: 31-405
Size: 5 lb. (80 OZ) 2.3KG plastic tubes
Best used by date: 11-05-15
UPC: 829546314057
Keep Frozen

Bravo! Blends All Natural Chicken Blend diet for dogs & cats
Product Number: 21-105
Size: 5 lb. (80 OZ) 2.3KG plastic tubes
Best used by date: 08-11-16
UPC: 829546211059
Keep Frozen

The recall was initiated after routine testing by the Nebraska Department of Agriculture revealed the presence of Salmonella in two lots of product. This batch tested negative by a third party independent laboratory prior to release for distribution to consumers. The company has received no reports of illness in either people or animals associated with these products to date.

In addition to the voluntary recall of the above products, Bravo has chosen to voluntarily withdraw the following poultry products from the marketplace to provide its customers with the certainty of safety. Those products include all sizes (2 lb., 5 lb. and 10 lb.) of Bravo Chicken Blend(s), Bravo Turkey Blend(s), Bravo Balance Chicken Balance and Bravo Balance Premium Turkey Formula frozen raw diet products with best used by dates between June 20, 2016 and September 18, 2016. This is being done out of an abundance of caution despite no evidence of any manufacturing defect or distribution problem. None of these products are known to have tested positive for the presence of pathogens. This market withdrawal has not been requested by the FDA, but is being done voluntarily by Bravo.

The recalled product should not be sold or fed to pets. Pet owners who have the affected product at home should dispose of this product in a safe manner (example, a securely covered trash receptacle). Customers who have purchased the recalled pet food can return to the store where purchased.

Salmonella can affect animals eating the products and there is risk to humans from handling contaminated pet products, especially if they have not thoroughly washed their hands after having contact with the products or any surfaces exposed to these products.

Healthy people infected with Salmonella should monitor themselves for some or all of the following symptoms: nausea, vomiting, diarrhea or bloody diarrhea, abdominal cramping and fever. Salmonella can result in more serious ailments, including arterial infections, endocarditis, arthritis, muscle pain, eye irritation, and urinary tract symptoms. Consumers exhibiting these signs after having contact with this product should contact their healthcare providers.

Pets with Salmonella infections may be lethargic and have diarrhea or bloody diarrhea, fever, and vomiting. Some pets will have only decreased appetite, fever and abdominal pain. Infected but otherwise healthy pets can be carriers and infect other animals or humans. If your pet has consumed the recalled product and has these symptoms, please contact your veterinarian.

Food Safety News

Bravo Turkey and Chicken Pet Foods Recalled for Potential Salmonella Contamination

Bravo of Manchester, CT is recalling select lots of Bravo Turkey and Chicken pet foods for dogs and cats because they have the potential to be contaminated with Salmonella.

The recalled product was distributed nationwide beginning on November 14, 2013 to distributors, retail stores, internet retailers and directly to consumers. The product can be identified by the batch ID code (best used by date) printed on the side of the plastic tube.

These products are being recalled because they have the potential to be contaminated with Salmonella:

RAW FOOD DIET BRAVO! TURKEY BLEND FOR DOGS AND CATS
Product Number: 31-102
Size: 2 lb. (32 OZ) plastic tubes
Best used by date: 11-05-15
UPC: 829546311025
Keep Frozen

Bravo! Blends All Natural Chicken Blend diet for dogs & cats
Product Number: 21-102
Size: 2 lb. (32 OZ) plastic tubes
Best used by date: 08-11-16
UPC: 829546211028
Keep Frozen

These products are being recalled out of an abundance of caution because they were manufactured in the same manufacturing facility or on the same day as products that tested positive:

Premium Turkey Formula BRAVO Balance RAW DIET
Product Number: 31-405
Size: 5 lb. (80 OZ) 2.3KG plastic tubes
Best used by date: 11-05-15
UPC: 829546314057
Keep Frozen

Bravo! Blends All Natural Chicken Blend diet for dogs & cats
Product Number: 21-105
Size: 5 lb. (80 OZ) 2.3KG plastic tubes
Best used by date: 08-11-16
UPC: 829546211059
Keep Frozen

The recall was initiated after routine testing by the Nebraska Department of Agriculture revealed the presence of Salmonella in two lots of product. This batch tested negative by a third party independent laboratory prior to release for distribution to consumers. The company has received no reports of illness in either people or animals associated with these products to date.

In addition to the voluntary recall of the above products, Bravo has chosen to voluntarily withdraw the following poultry products from the marketplace to provide its customers with the certainty of safety. Those products include all sizes (2 lb., 5 lb. and 10 lb.) of Bravo Chicken Blend(s), Bravo Turkey Blend(s), Bravo Balance Chicken Balance and Bravo Balance Premium Turkey Formula frozen raw diet products with best used by dates between June 20, 2016 and September 18, 2016. This is being done out of an abundance of caution despite no evidence of any manufacturing defect or distribution problem. None of these products are known to have tested positive for the presence of pathogens. This market withdrawal has not been requested by the FDA, but is being done voluntarily by Bravo.

The recalled product should not be sold or fed to pets. Pet owners who have the affected product at home should dispose of this product in a safe manner (example, a securely covered trash receptacle). Customers who have purchased the recalled pet food can return to the store where purchased.

Salmonella can affect animals eating the products and there is risk to humans from handling contaminated pet products, especially if they have not thoroughly washed their hands after having contact with the products or any surfaces exposed to these products.

Healthy people infected with Salmonella should monitor themselves for some or all of the following symptoms: nausea, vomiting, diarrhea or bloody diarrhea, abdominal cramping and fever. Salmonella can result in more serious ailments, including arterial infections, endocarditis, arthritis, muscle pain, eye irritation, and urinary tract symptoms. Consumers exhibiting these signs after having contact with this product should contact their healthcare providers.

Pets with Salmonella infections may be lethargic and have diarrhea or bloody diarrhea, fever, and vomiting. Some pets will have only decreased appetite, fever and abdominal pain. Infected but otherwise healthy pets can be carriers and infect other animals or humans. If your pet has consumed the recalled product and has these symptoms, please contact your veterinarian.

Food Safety News

Foster Farms Recalls Frozen Pre-Cooked Chicken for Possible Listeria Contamination

Foster Farms is recalling approximately 39,747  pounds of frozen pre-cooked chicken products due to possible contamination with Listeria monocytogenes, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) announced Thursday.

The frozen Chicken Breast Grilled Strips product was produced at the company’s processing plant in Farmerville, LA, on Aug. 5, 2014, and then shipped to retail warehouse locations in California, Texas, Utah and Washington state.

The following product is subject to recall:

  • 3.5-lb. Plastic resealable bags containing frozen “Chicken Breast Grilled Strips.”

The affected product packaging will bear the establishment number “P-33901” as well as a best-by date of 08-05-15.

The problem was discovered during the company’s routine in-plant inspection. While some of the product was set aside and held, the product subject to this recall was inadvertently shipped.

FSIS and Foster Farms have received no reports of illnesses associated with consumption of these products.

FSIS and the company are concerned that some product may be frozen and in consumers’ freezers.

FSIS routinely conducts recall effectiveness checks to verify recalling firms notify their customers of the recall and that steps are taken to make certain that the product is no longer available to consumers. When available, the retail distribution list(s) will be posted on the FSIS website at www.fsis.usda.gov/recalls.

FSIS advises all consumers to reheat ready-to-eat product until steaming hot.

Consumers with questions regarding the recall can contact Teresa Lenz, Foster Farms Consumer Affairs Manager, at (800) 338-8051.

Consumption of food contaminated with Listeria monocytogenes can cause listeriosis, a serious infection that primarily affects older adults, persons with weakened immune systems, and pregnant women and their newborns. Less commonly, persons outside these risk groups are affected.

Listeriosis can cause fever, muscle aches, headache, stiff neck, confusion, loss of balance and convulsions sometimes preceded by diarrhea or other gastrointestinal symptoms. An invasive infection can spread beyond the gastrointestinal tract.

In pregnant women, the infection can cause miscarriages, stillbirths, premature delivery or life-threatening infection of the newborn. In addition, serious and sometimes fatal infections can occur in older adults and persons with weakened immune systems. Listeriosis is treated with antibiotics.

Persons in the higher-risk categories who experience flu-like symptoms within two months after eating contaminated food should seek medical care and tell the health care provider about eating the contaminated food.

Food Safety News

Perdue Recalls Raw Chicken for Possible Temperature Processing Problem

Perdue Foods of Salisbury, MD, is recalling approximately 720 pounds of raw, fresh chicken products because they may have experienced a processing deviation in temperature during production, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) announced Saturday.

The products subject to the recall include:

  • 80-lb. cardboard boxes containing approximately 28, 2.5-lb. ice-packed, sealed packages of “COOKIN’ GOOD WHOLE YOUNG CHICKENS” with giblets and necks.

The products were produced Sept. 3, 2014, and then shipped to a New York distributor for resale and food service use in Connecticut, New Jersey, New York and Pennsylvania. The packages bear the establishment number “P-764” on the box.

The company discovered the problem when a plant employee checking whole bird temperatures noticed variations in the product. Upon further investigation, it was found that a plant worker turned the wrong water valve, using potable water instead of chill water in the system’s chiller. The company notified FSIS of the incident. Product found in the firm’s warehouse was destroyed. However, nine cases inadvertently shipped into commerce.

FSIS and the company have received no reports of adverse reactions due to consumption of these products. Anyone concerned about a reaction should contact a healthcare provider.

FSIS routinely conducts recall effectiveness checks to verify that recalling firms notify their customers of the recall and that steps are taken to make certain that the product is no longer available to consumers.

Consumers with questions about the recall may contact Perdue Consumer Affairs at 800-4Perdue (800-473-7383).

Food Safety News

UK Survey Finds Campylobacter on 59 Percent of Chicken

The Food Standards Agency (FSA) in the U.K. has published its first-quarter results from a survey of Campylobacter on fresh whole store-bought chickens and the associated packaging.

The agency found that 59 percent of the birds and 4 percent of the outside of the packaging tested positive.

Campylobacter is the most common form of food poisoning in the U.K., affecting an estimated 280,000 people each year. FSA estimates that four of five cases come from contaminated poultry.

British officials hope that interventions such as improved biosecurity on farms, rapid surface chilling and antimicrobial washes will help reduce the pathogen’s prevalence.

The survey is running from February 2014 to February 2015 and will test 4,000 samples. The first quarter included 853 samples.

Catherine Brown, FSA chief executive, said that the survey “will give us a clearer picture of the prevalence of Campylobacter on raw poultry sold at retail and help us measure the impact of interventions introduced by producers, processors, and retailers to reduce contamination.”

When first announcing the survey, FSA stated that the agency would published findings at a store-specific level — to “name and shame” supermarkets and processors. In late July, the agency walked back from that pledge, deciding instead to wait until the entire survey is completed and publish all the names next summer.

This has upset Which?, a consumer organization calling for FSA to stick to its initial plan and publish the names of retailers “so that consumers are aware of the best and worst performing shops.”

To avoid Campylobacter infection, FSA reminds consumers to cook chicken thoroughly, avoid washing it, store it at the bottom of the fridge so juices don’t drip onto other foods, and wash hands frequently, along with all utensils, chopping boards and surfaces used to prepare raw chicken.

Food Safety News

UK Survey Finds Campylobacter on 59 Percent of Chicken

The Food Standards Agency (FSA) in the U.K. has published its first-quarter results from a survey of Campylobacter on fresh whole store-bought chickens and the associated packaging.

The agency found that 59 percent of the birds and 4 percent of the outside of the packaging tested positive.

Campylobacter is the most common form of food poisoning in the U.K., affecting an estimated 280,000 people each year. FSA estimates that four of five cases come from contaminated poultry.

British officials hope that interventions such as improved biosecurity on farms, rapid surface chilling and antimicrobial washes will help reduce the pathogen’s prevalence.

The survey is running from February 2014 to February 2015 and will test 4,000 samples. The first quarter included 853 samples.

Catherine Brown, FSA chief executive, said that the survey “will give us a clearer picture of the prevalence of Campylobacter on raw poultry sold at retail and help us measure the impact of interventions introduced by producers, processors, and retailers to reduce contamination.”

When first announcing the survey, FSA stated that the agency would published findings at a store-specific level — to “name and shame” supermarkets and processors. In late July, the agency walked back from that pledge, deciding instead to wait until the entire survey is completed and publish all the names next summer.

This has upset Which?, a consumer organization calling for FSA to stick to its initial plan and publish the names of retailers “so that consumers are aware of the best and worst performing shops.”

To avoid Campylobacter infection, FSA reminds consumers to cook chicken thoroughly, avoid washing it, store it at the bottom of the fridge so juices don’t drip onto other foods, and wash hands frequently, along with all utensils, chopping boards and surfaces used to prepare raw chicken.

Food Safety News

FSIS Warns About Breaded Chicken Products Produced Without Inspection

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) is issuing a public health alert because VU Foods, LLC, a Kansas City, Mo., establishment, refused to issue a recall of breaded chicken products for which there is reason to conclude that they are unfit for human consumption.

The products were considered for recall because they were produced without inspection.

The products bear the establishment number “P-45038” inside the USDA mark of inspection or on the label. Some labels state that the products were distributed by Tact Foodservice or US Foods. These products will not be identifiable to consumers because they were sent to distributors and labeled for “Use in Restaurant Only.”

The following products were shipped to distribution centers:

  • Select Cut – Cubed Chicken Breast Meat (product code: 10800)
  • Select Cut – Cubed Chicken Breast Meat (product code: 10810)
  • Cubed Chicken Breast Meat (product code: 10500)
  • Pre-Battered Chicken Tender (product code: 80022)
  • Boneless All Natural Chicken Breast Nuggets (product code: 8550)
  • Chicken Dark Meat Nuggets (product code: 20505)
  • KIKKA Boneless All Natural Chicken Breast Nuggets, packed exclusively for KIKKA RESTAURANTS

The problem was discovered by the state of Missouri, which was assisted by law enforcement to enter a warehouse location and observed products that were produced without the benefit of inspection. The state of Missouri notified FSIS of the facility operating without the benefit of inspection on July 15, 2014. On that same day, the state of Missouri began detaining the breaded chicken products produced at the facility and FSIS began detaining additional products on July 17, 2014. FSIS served a Notice of Suspension to VU Foods, LLC, on July 24, 2014. FSIS is continuing to detain the product in question and is conducting trace forward operations with distribution centers to request the product back from their restaurant customers.

The investigation enforcement actions are ongoing and FSIS is prepared to take additional actions or expand the investigation based on new evidence.

FSIS has received no reports of illness due to consumption of these products. Anyone concerned about an illness should contact a health care provider.

Consumers with food safety questions can “Ask Karen,” the FSIS virtual representative available 24 hours a day at AskKaren.gov. The toll-free USDA Meat and Poultry Hotline 1-888-MPHotline (1-888-674-6854) is available in English and Spanish and can be reached from l0 a.m. to 4 p.m. (Eastern Time) Monday through Friday. Recorded food safety messages are available 24 hours a day. The online Electronic Consumer Complaint Monitoring System can be accessed 24 hours a day at: http://www.fsis.usda.gov/reportproblem.

Food Safety News