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October 4, 2008: Minnesota Salmonella Cases Linked To Milford Valley Farms Chicken Products

Minnesota health and agriculture officials have announced that recent cases of Salmonella food poisoning in that state have been linked to Milford Valley Farms Chicken Cordon Bleu and Chicken Kiev.

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Although the frozen, breaded and stuffed Milford Valley Farms chicken products have been pre-browned, the product is in fact raw; leading one to question that why, when considering the health risks associated with raw poultry, a company would market “raw chicken” to look like “cooked chicken”?  Sales over safety?

 

According to the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) website, this is the sixth outbreak of Salmonella food poisoning in Minnesota linked to these types of products since 1998. They are urging consumers to make sure that all raw poultry products are handled carefully and cooked thoroughly, and to avoid cooking raw chicken products in the microwave because of the risk of undercooking.

 

The MDH reports that 14 cases of Salmonella infection since July, 2008, were caused by the same strain of Salmonella and linked to Milford Valley Farms raw chicken products. The illnesses occurred in both children and adults.  Six of the Salmonella food poisoning cases resulted in hospitalization.

"Our DNA fingerprinting found that the individuals were sickened by the same strain of Salmonella," said Dr. Kirk Smith, supervisor of the Foodborne Disease Unit at MDH. "The outbreak strain of Salmonella was found in four packages of this product recovered from the homes of some of those who were ill and from grocery stores."

Salmonella is sometimes present in raw chicken, which is why it is important for consumers to follow safe food-handling practices. This includes cooking all raw poultry products to an internal temperature of at least 165 degrees Fahrenheit. "The problem arises when consumers don't realize that they are preparing a raw product," according to Dr. Heidi Kassenborg, Dairy and Food Inspection Director for the Minnesota Department of Agriculture (MDA).

"The frozen chicken entrees in the outbreaks we've seen in Minnesota are breaded, pre-browned and individually wrapped, so it's likely most ill consumers mistakenly assumed they have been precooked," Kassenborg said.

The Milford Valley Farms products linked to this latest outbreak bear the establishment number "Est. P-2375" inside the USDA mark of inspection. The implicated Chicken Cordon Bleu products have code dates of C8121, C126, and C8133 printed on the side of the package, and the implicated Chicken Kiev products have a code date of C149 printed on the side of the package.

Because pathogenic Salmonella bacteria are not considered an adulterant in raw poultry, no recall is required according to federal guidelines.

To learn more, please see Salmonella Symptoms.

 

The Law Firm of Eric Weinberg currently represents individuals who have been sickened in Salmonella food poisoning outbreaks nationwide. If you have a question concerning your legal rights, please call us toll free at 1-877-934-6274, or see Free Legal Case Evaluation. To learn more about our legal practice, please see Food Poisoning Lawyer.

 

For information concerning recent food poisoning outbreaks, please see Salmonella Lawyer and Salmonella Lawsuit.

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