Costco is again at the middle of a recall, this time recalling products made with Foster Farms chicken and sold at its El Camino Real store in South San Francisco, California. The products subject to recall include Kirkland Signature Foster Farms rotisserie chickens, Kirkland Farm rotisserie chicken soup, rotisserie chicken leg quarters, and rotisserie chicken salad sold at the store. The chicken was sold directly to Costco members at 1600 El Camino Real, South San Francisco, Calif., between Sept. 11 and Sep. 23, 2013. The rotisserie chicken products are being recalled in this class one recall (a reasonable probability of serious adverse health consequences) because the chicken is believed to be contaminated with Salmonella Heidelberg.
The recall was announced by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS), which is coordinating the investigation with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the California Department of Public Health (CDPH), and the County of San Mateo Public Health Department (SMPHD). This recall was announced after a number of victims became infected with Salmonella Heidelberg and an epidemiologic and trace-back investigation linked the Costco El Camino Real rotisserie chicken products and these illnesses. The stool samples of the victims who ate the rotisserie chicken have a unique matching PFGE pattern (0258) that is relatively rare in the United States. This particular PFGE pattern has recently been linked to Foster Farms chicken produced in the Western United States and in Alabama in recent months. According to the FSIS, these illnesses are therefore part of a larger cluster of Salmonella Heidelberg victims, and this strain is known to be multi-drug resistant.
Costco has already taken steps to contact every customer who purchased these rotisserie chicken products.
Why has Foster Farms Not Issued a Full Recall?
Foster Farms poultry has been linked on several occasions to salmonella outbreaks in recent months, and even after this recent wave of over 300 illnesses had not issued a general recall of its raw chicken products. Instead, a Foster Farms spokesperson has simply reiterated the need to properly handle raw poultry in order to prevent cross-contamination and to follow proper cooking instructions for raw meat or poultry–it is necessary, for poultry, to cook to an internal temperature of at least 165 °F. While the USDA and FSIS also note the need to properly cook and handle raw chicken, salmonella lawyer Ron Simon states “it is interesting that the public is not getting sick from other producers’ chicken at anything near the level of illnesses that are associated with Foster Farms chicken.” Salmonella lawyer Ron Simon also notes that the Costco rotisserie chicken being recalled was cooked and prepared and still people have been getting ill. “In the current outbreak, the producer cannot simply blame the customers,” says Simon, adding” which in my opinion is a poor excuse for circulating potentially life0threatening contaminated chicken.” The only prudent action, according to salmonella lawyer Ron Simon, would be to initiate a recall of all the potentially contaminated product and to revamp the production facilities where this product was produced.
The salmonella lawyers at Ron Simon & Associates encourage consumers to seek medical attention if they get food poisoning after eating Foster Farms chicken, and then to call their salmonella lawyers to protect certain legal rights they might have.