(NaturalNews) A San Francisco Costco store has recalled 40,000 pounds of cooked rotisserie chicken products due to confirmed Salmonella Heidelberg contamination. Salmonella Heidelberg is an antibiotic-resistant strain that poses a life-threatening risk to those with weakened immune systems, including the elderly, kids and people with cancer or HIV. At least one cooked rotisserie chicken tested positive for the salmonella bacteria, leading the store to issue a recall for 8,730 rotisserie chickens and 313 units of soup, leg quarters and salad possibly containing salmonella. An expected 18-20 customers have reported illness directly linked to the contaminated chicken sold between September 11 and September 23.
Costco's vice president for food safety, Craig Wilson, has claimed that the chicken was well-cooked and they are unsure how it was contaminated. "I don't know if we're looking at an enormous bio-load or was it possibly cross-contaminated," Wilson said. Wilson also said that Costco's chicken products are routinely cooked to 180 degrees, which is above the recommended temperature for killing the salmonella bacteria. However, CDC representative Barbara Reynolds said it is very improbable that properly cooked and handled chicken would sicken a consumer with salmonella.
This recall is being linked to the Foster Farms antibiotic-resistant salmonella outbreak which caused The Kroger Co. to remove Foster Farms brand raw chicken from six of their grocery store chains in Nevada and New Mexico earlier this month. Despite consumer pressure, Foster Farms has refused to issue a voluntary recall, claiming that their chicken meets USDA standards, and reminded consumers that contaminated chicken is safe to eat when handled properly and cooked to an internal temperature of 165 degrees. The USDA has issued supportive statements.
According to LA Times, the contaminated chicken is connected to USDA marks of inspection P6137, P6137A or P7632. Costco is now carrying new batches of Foster Farm brand chicken.
About the author: Bri Jackson is a free-lance writer, Creative Director of Cultured Out Magazine, and author of the Health & Wellness Blog at www.hebrewessence.com. She is a natural living enthusiast striving to make the natural living transition easier for others.
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