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Barber Foods Recalls Over 1.7 Million Pounds of Frozen Raw Chicken Due to Contamination by Salmonella

Barber Foods Recalls Over 1.7 Million Pounds of Frozen Raw Chicken Due to Contamination by Salmonella

The stuffed chicken entrees from Portland, Maine, are contaminated with salmonella

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Barber Foods is recalling all of their products, including the Breaded Stuffed Chicken Cordon Bleu.

Barber Foods announced on July 12 that they are recalling over 1.7 million pounds of frozen raw chicken that may contain salmonella, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service.

A recall on July 2 affected Barber Foods’ breaded and raw varieties of their stuffed chicken breasts, but now it has been expanded to all Barber Foods products. The infected chicken products were produced between February 17 and May 20 of this year.

Four patients in Minnesota and Wisconsin fell ill as a result of salmonella food poisoning, and another two cases have been reported since the first recall, prompting the expanded recall. Barber Foods wrote on their website: “It is important for you to know that we are working collaboratively with the USDA to modify our production practices including, but not limited to, additional levels of microbiological analysis and additional control procedures to reduce Salmonella in both incoming and outgoing raw stuffed chicken breast products.”

The USDA noted that all uncooked chicken should be handled carefully to avoid cross-contamination in the kitchen and that all raw poultry should be cooked until it reaches an internal temperature of 165 degrees F.


Over 1.7 Million Pounds Of Frozen Chicken Recalled Due To Salmonella Scare

Portland, Maine-based Barber Foods has recalled more than 1.7 million pounds of frozen and stuffed chicken products due to possible contamination with Salmonella Enteritidis.

Salmonella is among the most common causes of foodborne illnesses, and consuming food contaminated with the bacteria can lead to unwanted illnesses and symptoms such as stomach cramps, diarrhea and fever, which usually emerge 12 to 72 hours after exposure.

The illness often lasts from four days to a week. While most people get well without treatment, certain individuals may experience more severe diarrhea that requires hospitalization, with infants, older adults and those with weakened immune systems being the most vulnerable to severe illness.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture's Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) announced the recall on Sunday after at least six people in Minnesota and Wisconsin fell ill when they consumed the recalled products between April 5 and June 23.

The FSIS was likewise notified of a cluster of Salmonella Entertidis cases on June 24, and investigation revealed that chicken products from Barber Foods were linked to this cluster of illness.

The recall was initially announced on July 2 but only affected 58,000 pounds of chicken products that were produced between Jan. 29 and April 23 this year. The recall was, however, expanded on Sunday after reports of additional illnesses. Two more patients have been identified, and the recall now includes all products linked with the contaminated source material.

The recalled products were marked with establishment number "P-276" inside the USDA's mark of inspection and were shipped to retail locations across the country and Canada.

"The following product is subject to recall," stated FSIS, "2-lb. 4-oz. cardboard box containing 6 individually pouched pieces of 'Barber Foods Premium Entrees Breaded-Boneless Raw Stuffed Chicken Breasts with Rib Meat Kiev' with use by/sell by date of April 28, 2016, May 20, 2016 and July 21, 2016 and Lot Code number 0950292102, 0950512101, or 0951132202."

FSIS raised concern that some of the products are already in the freezers of consumers and may appear cooked. The agency said that although the chicken products seemed cook, they are raw and need to be handled carefully. FSIS also provided some guidelines in its release advising consumers to cook raw chicken and other poultry products at 165° F.

Those who have purchased the recalled products are urged to discard them or return them for a refund. Consumers who have further questions about the recall may contact Barber Foods at (844) 564-5555.


Barber Foods' recall over Salmonella fears reaches Giant Food Stores

Giant Food Stores LLC announced Monday it removed from sale select stuffed chicken products due to the potential for Salmonella contamination.

The announcement follows a recall of Portland, Maine-based Barber Foods.

Barber had recalled about 1.7 million pounds of frozen, raw stuffed chicken products because of potential Salmonella contamination, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

The chicken products were produced between Feb. 17 and May 20. Barber announced its recall July 2 and has since expanded the items affected.

Giant said it pulled from sale:

  • Barber Stuffed Chicken Cordon Bleu
  • Barber Stuffed Chicken Broccoli & Cheese
  • Barber Stuffed Chicken Kiev
  • Barber Stuffed Chicken Broccoli & Cheese
  • Barber Stuffed Chicken Cordon Bleu
  • Barber Brie Stuffed Chicken

Giant said it had received no reports of illnesses as of Monday. The USDA reports six patients total in Minnesota and Wisconsin.

According to the USDA: Consumption of food contaminated with Salmonella can cause salmonellosis, one of the most common bacterial foodborne illnesses. The most common symptoms of salmonellosis are diarrhea, abdominal cramps, and fever within 12 to 72 hours after exposure to the organism. The illness usually lasts four to seven days. Most people recover without treatment. In some persons, however, the diarrhea may be so severe that the patient needs to be hospitalized. Older adults, infants, and persons with weakened immune systems are more likely to develop a severe illness. Individuals concerned about an illness should contact their health care provider.

Giant invites customers who purchased these products to discard any unused portions and bring their purchase receipt to Giant for a full refund.


Over a Million Barber Stuffed Chicken Breasts Recalled

About 1.7 million pound of frozen, raw stuffed chicken breasts are being recalled by Barber Foods due to possible salmonella contamination.

An initial recall of about 58,000 pounds of the chicken breasts produced on Jan. 29, Feb. 20 and April 23 was was announced on July 2 after an outbreak of salmonella cases was linked to the products, the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Food Safety and Inspection Service said.

Since then, two more cases of salmonella linked with the chicken breasts have been confirmed, leading to an expansion of the recall to include products produced between Feb. 17 and May 20.

The recall is for 2-lb. 4-oz. cardboard boxes containing 6 individually pouched pieces of "BARBER FOODS PREMIUM ENTREES BREADED-BONELESS RAW STUFFED CHICKEN BREASTS WITH RIB MEAT KIEV" with use by/sell by date of April 28, 2016, May 20, 2016 and July 21, 2016, and Lot Code number 0950292102, 0950512101, or 0951132202.

The recalled products have the establishment number "P-276" inside the USDA mark of inspection. These products were shipped to stores across the United States and Canada.

For more information, contact Portland, Maine-based Barber Foods at 1-844-564-5555.


2 million pounds of chicken products recalled after MN salmonella outbreak

Almost 2 million pounds of chicken products are being recalled after a link between Aspen Foods products and an outbreak of salmonella in Minnesota.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced the Chicago-based company is recalling frozen, raw, stuffed and breaded chicken products amid fears it may be contaminated with salmonella.

It follows two outbreaks of salmonella in Minnesota that were reported by state health officials on June 23 and 24, one of which related to a frozen chicken cordon bleu made by Antioch Farms – a brand belong to Aspen, which is itself a division of the Koch Poultry Company.

The USDA&aposs Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) said three people in Minnesotaꃊme down with salmonella poisoning between May 9 and June 8.

Minnesotans are now being urged to check their freezer to see whether they have one of the recalled items, which were produced between April 15 and July 10 and have "best if used by dates" of between July 14, 2016, and October 10, 2016.

They also have the establishment number "P-1358" inside the USDA&aposs mark of inspection.

You can find a full list of the recalled products here, but the brands affected include:

  • Acclaim
  • Antioch Farms
  • Buckley Farms
  • Centrella Signature
  • Chestnut Farms
  • Family Favorites
  • Kirkwood
  • Koch Foods
  • Market Day
  • Oven Cravers
  • Rose
  • Rosebud Farm
  • Roundy’s
  • Safeway Kitchens
  • Schwan’s
  • Shaner’s
  • Spartan
  • Sysco

The other salmonella outbreak in Minnesota, which also affected some in Wisconsin, was caused by chicken products made by Barber Foods.

Earlier this week, a recall of those products was expanded to include about 1.7 million pounds of frozen raw Barber Foods chicken products.

Health officials have said it was possible some people ate contaminated meat because they didn&apost realize the prepared chicken products were actually raw beneath the breading, and required cooking until they reached a temperature of 165 degrees Fahrenheit in the center – the temperature at which bacteria in chicken is killed.

The Centers for Disease Control says salmonella causes about 1 million illnesses in the U.S. each year, and around 380 deaths.

The typical symptoms include diarrhea, fever and abdominal cramps between 12 to 72 hours after infection, with the illness generally lasting four to seven days.


Frozen Chicken Recall Issued For 1.7M Pounds of Cordon Bleu, Kiev, Other Stuffed Chicken

Following a growing number of confirmed food poisoning cases, a recent frozen chicken recall has been expanded to include more than 1.7 million pounds of Barber Foods stuffed chicken products, which could potentially be contaminated with salmonella.

The Barber Foods frozen, raw stuffed chicken products recall expansion was announced by the U.S. Food Safety Inspection Service (FSIS) on July 12, following two new reports involving consumers who fell ill with salmonella infections after eating one of the variety of chicken products. To date, the agency has identified at least 6 salmonella cases among individuals who ate the frozen chicken..

The original recall was announced on July 2, and included 58,000 pounds of 2 lb. 4 oz. cardboard boxes containing 6 individually wrapped pieces of “Barber Foods Premium Entrees Breaded Boneless Raw Stuffed Chicken Breasts with Rib Meat Kiev” with by/sell date of April 28, 2016, May 20, 2016, and July 21, 2016. These products were sold exclusively to Sam’s Club retail stores in Illinois, Minnesota, and Wisconsin.

FSIS was notified about a cluster of salmonella food poisoning illnesses on June 24, and through epidemiological evidence and traceback investigations of illness onset date ranges, were able to determine Barber Foods raw stuffed chicken products as the original contaminated source, prompting the recall.

After receiving two more illness reports since the original recall on July 2, the manufacturer has decided to broaden the scope of the recall to all products associated with the contaminated source material.

Salmonella Enteritidis is a common serotype of salmonella and is one of the leading food poisoning infections among the United States. A person infected with Salmonella Enteritidis will usually experience fever, abdominal cramps, and diarrhea beginning 12 to 72 hours after consuming a contaminated food or beverage.

The illness usually lasts four to seven days and most patients can recover from the infection without the treatment of antibiotics. However, the elderly, infants, and those with impaired immune systems may have more severe illnesses, especially if the infection spreads from the intestines to the blood stream, which may cause death if not treated promptly with antibiotics.

The recall expansion now includes 1,707,494 pounds of Barber Foods, Meijer, and SYSCO frozen, stuffed and raw chicken Cordon Blue, Chicken Tenders, Chicken Kiev, and Chicken Broccoli Cheese products manufactured between February 17, 2015 and May 20, 2015. The recall is no longer limited to Illinois, Minnesota, and Wisconsin and now impacts all supermarkets and retailers across the U.S. The recalled products have a use/sell by date of April 28, 2016, May 20, 2016, or July 21, 2016 and lot Code numbers 0950292102, 0950512101, or 0951132202 and the establishment number “P-276” inside the USDA mark of inspection.

For a full list of recalled product names, packaging sizes, and case code numbers please visit the USDA recall announcement (linked above).

FSIS and Barber Foods have announced that although consumers may not have eaten the recalled products, they are concerned some may still be in consumers’ freezers. The chicken products may appear to be cooked due to the darkened colors but are in fact uncooked and should be handled carefully to avoid cross contamination and cooked to at least 165 degrees F.

FSIS recommends that when handling raw meats and poultry to always wash your hands with soap and warm water prior and never use the same cutting boards, dishes, and utensils for different products without washing them first to prevent cross contamination. The agency also advises that using color to indicate whether a meat or poultry is cooked enough is not reliable and a thermometer should always be used to check internal temperatures at the core to ensure all harmful bacteria has been killed.


1.7 million pounds of frozen chicken products recalled over possible Salmonella contamination

WASHINGTON — Barber Foods is recalling more than 1.7 million pounds of frozen stuffed chicken products because they may be contaminated with Salmonella, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

At least six people in Minnesota and Wisconsin became sick after eating the recalled products between April and late June, according to the USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service. The recall was originally announced July 2 and included 58,000 pounds of chicken products, however it was was expanded Sunday after more illnesses were reported.

The recall includes frozen, stuffed, and raw chicken packaged in six individual packages per box. The varieties include Chicken Cordon Bleu, Chicken Tenders, Chicken Kiev, and Chicken Broccoli Cheese. Here’s a full list of the products included in the recall.

The products were manufactured between Feb. 17 and May 20, and were sold at supermarkets across the U.S.

The packages included in the recall have a use/sell by date of April 28, 2016, May 20, 2016, or July 21, 2016, and a Lot Code number 0950292102, 0950512101, or 0951132202. They are also marked with the the establishment number “P-276” inside the USDA mark of inspection.


Barber Foods Recalls Stuffed Chicken Breasts

July 13, 2015 -- About 1.7 million pound of frozen, raw stuffed chicken breasts are being recalled by Barber Foods due to possible salmonella contamination.

An initial recall of about 58,000 pounds of the chicken breasts produced on Jan. 29, Feb. 20 and April 23 was announced on July 2 after an outbreak of salmonella cases was linked to the products, the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Food Safety and Inspection Service said.

Since then, two more cases of salmonella linked with the chicken breasts have been confirmed, leading to an expansion of the recall to include products produced between Feb. 17 and May 20.

The recall is for 2-lb. 4-oz. cardboard boxes containing 6 individually pouched pieces of "BARBER FOODS PREMIUM ENTREES BREADED-BONELESS RAW STUFFED CHICKEN BREASTS WITH RIB MEAT KIEV" with use by/sell by date of April 28, 2016, May 20, 2016 and July 21, 2016, and Lot Code number 0950292102, 0950512101, or 0951132202.

The recalled products have the establishment number "P-276" inside the USDA mark of inspection. These products were shipped to stores across the United States and Canada.

For more information, contact Portland, Maine-based Barber Foods at 1-844-564-5555.


Poultry

Poultry is defined as domesticated fowl, such as chickens, turkeys, geese, and ducks, primarily raised for the production of meat and eggs. The United States is the largest poultry producer in the world, producing roughly 64 billion pounds of poultry meat each year, and is the second largest exporter of poultry meat behind Brazil. The U.S. has comparably low levels of poultry imports, valued at approximately $200 million each year. In comparison, the nation-wide poultry production during 2018 was valued at greater than $35 billion

The poultry industry today is vertically-integrated, meaning that multiple production stages have been combined in order for production to be as efficient as possible. Subsequently, less man hours, feed, growth periods, space, and equipment are necessary to produce a market broiler chicken. This organization for efficiency has allowed for the poultry industry to rise to one of the largest in the agricultural sector. In the mid-1900s, feed mills, hatcheries, farms, and processing were each separate processes during chicken production. The integration of these production stages began in the 1950s and was common practice by the 1960s, allowing for advances in biological and production technologies to improve efficiency of broiler production. As the industry continued to grow, chicken consumption surpassed pork consumption in 1985 and beef consumption in 1992. By 1998, the USDA improved food safety standard in slaughterhouses by requiring the Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points program to be enacted in all poultry facilities.

Foodborne Outbreaks

Over the past decade, there have been numerous foodborne outbreaks associated with both poultry products and live poultry, such as backyard chickens. These local and multi-state outbreaks associated with poultry have been widely attributed to contamination with one or more strains of Salmonella. Salmonellosis is characterized by diarrhea, fever, stomach cramps, and dehydration.

2011 Outbreak of Salmonella Heidelberg – Ground Turkey

Later in 2011, a multi-state outbreak of Salmonella Heidelberg infections was reported across 34 states. A total of 136 people were infected with the outbreak strain, which led to 37 hospitalizations and one reported death. The outbreak investigation indicated ground turkey as likely source of the outbreak, where over half of the interviewed ill people reported consuming ground turkey. Samples of strain revealed that the strain was multidrug resistant to several common antibiotics and linked the strain to retail sample from Cargill Meat Solutions Corporation, a large manufacturer of turkey products. Following a USDA public health alert for frozen and fresh ground turkey products, Cargill recalled approximately 36 million pounds of turkey products that were at risk of contamination with Salmonella Heidelberg.

2011 Outbreak of Salmonella Heidelberg – Kosher Broiled Chicken Liver

From April to November 2011, kosher broiled chicken livers were associated with a multi-state outbreak of Salmonella Heidelberg infections, with cases in New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Maryland, Ohio, and Minnesota. Throughout these six states, a total of 190 people were infected, with 20 hospitalizations and no reported deaths. Epidemiologic investigation traced the infections to eating kosher broiled chicken liver from the Schreiber Processing Corporation. Notably, the chicken liver products appear to packaged as ready-to-eat, when they are truly only partially cooked and require further cooking before consumption. Schreiber Processing Corporation subsequently recalled their kosher broiled chicken liver products.

2013 Outbreak of Salmonella Heidelberg – Foster Farms Chicken

Between March 2013 and July 2014, 634 people from 29 states were infected with different strains of Salmonella Heidelberg. Although no deaths were reported, approximately 38% of those infected were hospitalized and 15% of ill persons developed blood infections. Raising further concern, 65% of the isolates were drug resistant, resistant to one or more antibiotics. After an extensive investigation the source was determined to be retail packages of chicken produced by the brand Foster Farms. Further investigation in Foster Farms production facilities found several strains of Salmonella Heidelberg at three separate facilities in California responding to these findings, Foster Farms implemented changes to their slaughtering and processing practices as corrective actions in their establishments. Since these interventions, these Foster Farms facilities have reduced the prevalence of Salmonella to less than 5%.

2014 Outbreak of Salmonella Heidelberg – Tyson Foods Chicken

Another outbreak of Salmonella Heidelberg occurred in late 2013 and early 2014. Nine people were infected, all of the individuals were inmates at a correctional facility. The source was determined to be mechanically separated chicken produced by Tyson Foods. On January 10, 2014, a recall was initiated of 33,840 pounds of product that may have been contaminated. The recalled products were never available for purchase in retail stores.

2015 Four Outbreaks of Salmonella Infections – Backyard Poultry

In early 2015, four outbreaks of Salmonella infections occurred across 43 states which all linked to contact with live poultry. Between the four outbreak, 252 people were infected and 63 hospitalizations occurred. Interviews with ill people found that many had been in contact with live poultry in the week before falling ill, many of which reported purchasing live poultry from feed supply stores, co-ops, and hatcheries. Several outbreak strains were identified for these outbreaks, including Salmonella Enteritidis, Salmonella Hadar, Salmonella Indiana, and Salmonella Muenchen. No single source of outbreaks was identified. Backyard flock owners and stores selling live poultry should be aware of the risk of acquiring Salmonella or other pathogens from their poultry.

2015 Outbreak of Salmonella Enteritidis – Barber Foods Chicken Entrees

Two separate outbreaks Salmonella Enteritidis occurred in raw, frozen chicken entrees in July 2015. A total of 15 people were infected by this outbreak across the Midwest and Northeastern regions of the U.S., leading to 4 hospitalizations. Investigation into the outbreak indicated the sources to likely be raw, frozen, stuffed, and breaded chicken products from Barber Foods. Further antibiotic resistance testing revealed the outbreak strain of Salmonella Enteritidis to be resistant to both ampicillin and tetracycline. Consequently, a recall was issued for 1.7 million pounds of frozen items from Barber Foods.

2015 Outbreak of Salmonella Enteritidis – Aspen Foods Chicken Entrees

A second outbreak of Salmonella Enteriditis was also linked to raw, frozen chicken entrees in July 2015, but is not associated with the Barber Foods outbreak. Five individuals in Minnesota were infected with Salmonella Enteriditis, two of which were hospitalized. Raw, frozen chicken entrees from Aspen Foods were identified as the source of the outbreak, leading to Aspen Foods recalling 1.9 million pounds of products that may have been contaminated. While both outbreaks are over, consumers should be advised of the longer shelf life of frozen products and to check their freezers for recalled products.

2018 Outbreak of Salmonella Typhimurium – Chicken Salad

In January of 2018, a multistate outbreak of Salmonella Typhimurium affected eight states and a total of 265 people. These cases spread across the Midwest and lead to 94 hospitalizations and one reported death. Evidence and traceback of the outbreak strain identified a chicken salad product by the company Triple T Specialty Meats, Inc were the source of contamination. Commonly sold at Fareway grocery stores, the chain issued that all sales of the product to stop at their stores. Triple T Specialty Meat, Inc later recalled all chicken salad products

2018 Outbreak of Salmonella Infantis – Chicken

Over a yearlong period from January 2018 to January 2019, 129 people were infected with a strain of Salmonella Infantis across 32 states. Of the 129 ill people, 25 reported hospitalization and one death was reported. Interviews will ill people revealed that a majority had consumed various types and brands of chicken before getting ill. Additionally, some individuals reported being in contact with live chickens and chicken pet food. Further investigation lead to sampling chickens at 76 different slaughtering and processing facilities, where the outbreak strain was matched to collected samples. Together, these data confirmed live and raw chicken products as the source of the outbreak, however no single supplier was identified.

2019 Outbreak of Salmonella Reading – Ground Turkey

Between November 2017 and April 2019, 358 people were infected with the outbreak strain Salmonella Reading. This multistate outbreak spread across 42 states, leading to a total of 133 hospitalizations and one reported death. Investigation into the outbreak found through interviews that 65% of ill people reported eating or preparing raw turkey products prior to becoming ill, while some additionally reported handling raw ground turkey pet food and working at turkey raising facilities. Samples from homes of ill people matched Salmonella strains from Jennie-O turkey and canned pet food to the outbreak strain. Further investigation linked the outbreak to a total of 24 slaughtering facilities and processing facilities. In response to the outbreak, Jennie-O recalled ground turkey products, Raws for Paws and Woody’s Pet Food Deli recalled raw turkey pet food.

Production

There are three production phases associated with poultry are: breeding flocks, laying hens, and broilers, turkeys, and ducks.

Chicken sold at retail establishments comes from commercial chicken and turkey operations. Broiler chickens refers to those birds raised for meat, which are primarily produced in the southern and southeastern parts of the U. S. Across the country, there are approximately 25,000 contracted farms that are responsible for 95% of broiler chicken production. The U.S. is the largest producer of broilers and second leading exporter of broilers. Turkeys are produced near the corn belt and in North Carolina. Turkey production in the U.S. surpasses that of other countries and the U.S. is only second to Israel in per capita turkey consumption.

Broilers

In the United States, most broiler production is under contract with a broiler processor who is responsible for providing the chicks, feed, and veterinary supplies to the grower at a grow-out farm. The grower maintains housing for the broilers, including systems for heating, cooling, feeding, and watering, in addition to supplying the labor force for raising the birds. The whole house is heated using brooder units, which each have rings placed around them. The birds are placed into the brooder rings and introduced to the watering and feeding units when they arrive at the growing house. They will usually be kept in a separate, smaller part of the house until they are old enough to have access to the rest of the barn. When the broilers have reached a predetermined size depending on the target market, which is often less than 13 weeks of age, the processor schedules the transportation of the birds from the farm to the processing plant. Males and females may be separated during the growing process to ensure more uniformity in mature birds and provision of proper nutrition to males and females. Broilers are typically reared in a enclosed buildings with either a wire-cage or slotted-floor system for feeding and watering, which help with efficiency. Since birds are help in close proximity and can varying in age, disease transmission is a concern while rearing broilers due to limitations in cleaning and disinfecting facilities.

Turkeys

Raising turkeys for meat production begins in a similar way. Brooder rings are used in the same manner to keep the young turkeys, called poults, close to their heat, food, and water sources. Poults are often sorted by gender at hatcheries and raised separately in addition to having their beaks trimmed to prevent injuries among birds. Turkeys may live in 3 different barns before processing at the grow-out farm having separate barns for different ages allows more birds to be produced in shorter time periods. For the first 5 to 6 weeks, poults are generally in a brooding barn with approximately 1 square foot of space per poult. After that, they may be moved to an intermediate barn or finishing/grow-out barn with approximately three to five square feet of space per bird. Turkeys are sent to market at some point between 15 and 25 weeks of age, where they’ll be transported to a processing plant once at the desired weight around 40 lbs.

Ducks

Commercial duck production is usually typed as total-confinement or semi-confinement housing depending on access to the outdoors. Ducks grow to their mature market weight in 6 to 7 weeks. At around 4 weeks of age, ducks are moved from a brooding house to the outdoors or another confined barn. By 4 weeks of age, they need at least one square foot of space per bird. If they will be confined until they are sent to market, each bird should be provided at least 2 square feet of floor space after 4 weeks, where overcrowding can be detrimental to the growth and health of the ducks. Additionally, ventilation and heating systems are necessary for larger flocks to remove extra moisture and heat produced by the ducks, allowing for protection from heat-related illness and growth of diseases.

Labeling

Livestock products like meat may have labels that are voluntarily applied by the producer. Such labels must be truthful and must not be misleading in nature therefore, the claims are verified by the Food Safety Inspection Service (FSIS) of the USDA. Below are the definitions of free-range and cage-free as per the USDA:

  • Free-range. This label indicates that the flock was provided shelter in a building, room, or area with unlimited access to food, fresh water, and continuous access to the outdoors during their production cycle. The outdoor area may or may not be fenced and/or covered with netting-like material. This label is regulated by the USDA.
  • Cage-free. This label indicates that the flock was able to freely roam a building, room, or enclosed area with unlimited access to food and fresh water during their production cycle.
  • Natural: This label indicates that the product contains no artificial ingredients or added color and is minimally processed.
  • Organic: Organic labelling requirements for poultry require that land for pasturing poultry and feed crops are qualified as organic crops and pasture. Poultry must be raised under continuous organic management beginning no later than the second day of life. Living conditions must provide continuous access to the outdoors, shelter, fresh air, and sunlight year round.

Additional Production Information

  • All poultry must be inspected by a USDA inspector to ensure it is wholesome and free of defect, grading is voluntary and is also done by the USDA (no broken bones, bruises, feathers, or discolorations)
  • “Fresh” poultry is defined as product that has never been held below 26°F.
  • Raw poultry which has been held at 0°F or below must be labeled frozen or previously frozen
  • Dating is not required by federal regulations however, many, if not all, stores and processors use it to decrease likelihood of foodborne illness and to maintain quality.
  • No hormones are used in the production of poultry. Antibiotics can be used to prevent disease, but there must be withdrawal time so that the meat is free of antibiotics before consumption
  • Additives are not allowed in poultry unless it has been processed, and they must be indicated in the ingredients.

Backyard Poultry

Backyard flocks have become more common in recent years and the risk of Salmonella infections are of concern when in direct contact with live poultry. In order to avoid infections from Salmonella or other pathogens, it is important to wash hands thoroughly with soap and water immediately after coming into contact with birds or their surroundings. It is also imperative to keep an eye on children, especially those younger than 5 years of age when around live poultry. Children, the elderly, and people with weakened immune systems should never handle poultry to avoid the risk of infection. Common pathogens associated with backyard poultry include avian influenza (bird flu), Campylobacter, Escherichia coli, and Salmonella.

Food Safety

Pathogens of Concern

Salmonella enteritidis
Staphylococcus aureus
Campylobacter jejuni
Listeria monocytogenes
Escherichia coli

There are many potential routes of contamination when dealing with poultry. It is important to avoid cross contamination because improper handling is the leading cause of foodborne illness in poultry. Avoiding cross contamination includes washing cutting boards, knives, and other cutting surfaces as well as keeping other foods separate from these utensils. It is crucial to wash hands frequently when handling poultry and keep raw and cooked foods separate.

Proper thawing techniques are important to minimize time in the “Danger Zone”, the range of temperatures which are optimal periods for bacterial growth between 40°F and 140°F. The correct methods to thaw poultry include: in the refrigerator, in cold water, or in the microwave. Each of these methods minimize the amount of time the product is in the “Danger Zone” temperature range, where bacterial growth is highest. Poultry must be stored at or below 40°F and should not be washed prior to preparing.

Inadequate cooking is the second most reported factor contributing to poultry-associated outbreaks. When cooking, poultry must be heated to an internal temperature of 165°F using a meat thermometer to verify the proper temperature and ensure pathogens are killed. In addition, stuffing in the cavity of the bird needs to be heated to 165°F to ensure proper food safety.

Consumption

Chicken is the most commonly consumed meat in the U.S., ahead of both beef and pork. The per capita consumption of poultry was approximately 112 pounds in 2018, most of which from chicken products. Over the past 60 years, chicken consumption has been steadily rising to pass the average consumption of pork in the 1980s and beef in the 1990s. The U.S. per capita consumption of chicken is now only second to Israel. Similarly, Israel has the leading per capita consumption of turkey ahead of the United States.

The main consumed portions of poultry are the breast, leg, and wing. The breast and wings are primarily made up of white meat whereas the leg typically contains dark meat.

Chicken is prepared in a variety of ways throughout the United States. It is commonly baked, roasted, grilled, and fried, as well as added to dishes such as stews, soups, salads, pasta, curries, and stir-fries. The fast food industry uses chicken in many products, including as chicken nuggets, chicken sandwiches, and chicken wings. Together, chicken found ubiquitously throughout the food industry, sold in both unprepared and raw forms in addition to fully cooked forms and in products.

Turkey, though consumed less than chicken, is still a popular option among U.S. consumers. The most common ways turkey is consumed are in its whole form, as deli slices, as ground turkey, and in turkey bacon. Turkey products such as ground turkey or turkey bacon are often used as a healthier alternative to their higher fat meat counterparts, ground beef and pork bacon. Turkey holds cultural importance in the U.S. as a staple item in a traditional Thanksgiving dinner, where a frozen turkey is typically roasted and stuffed.

A whole turkey roasting in the oven.

Nutrition

Poultry is a high protein food with less cholesterol than red meat. It is a source of complete protein, meaning that it contains all nine essential amino acids in adequate amounts for maintenance and growth. Subsequently, poultry meat is considered a high-quality source of protein due to its favorable amino acid profile and high protein digestibility. Fat content in poultry varies greatly depending on the presence of skin dark meat has a higher amount of fat than white meat. Depending on the cut, the fat content can range from 1% in lean cuts to up to 15% in dark meat. Aside from cut, the fat composition of poultry can vary based on production method. Comparisons organic and conventional chicken nutrient profiles suggest that organically raised chicken tend have lower saturated and monounsaturated fat content along with higher polyunsaturated fat contnt when compared to conventionally raised chicken. Other than fat composition, no other significant differences in nutrient profile have been shown between conventional and organic poultry.

While poultry contains many essential micronutrients, it does also have lower iron content than red meats. Poultry is a valuable source of selenium, phosphorus, and the B vitamins: thiamine, riboflavin, niacin, B6, and B12. While poultry is not naturally a significant source of sodium, processing can drastically increase the sodium content of poultry products, such as in deli meats. Like most animal-derived foods, poultry does not contain significant amount of carbohydrate or dietary fiber.


Salmonella Outbreak Prompts Massive Barber Foods And No Name Stuffed Chicken Products Recall In U.S. And Canada

The recent Salmonella outbreak in the United States has prompted a massive recall on the stuffed chicken products available in the market. Among the companies affected were Barber Foods and No Name brands, which are both distributed in the U.S. and Canada.

Due to possible Salmonella contamination, the U.S. Department of Agriculture Food Safety and Inspection Service (USDA) announced the recall of Barber Foods stuffed chicken products on Monday. As per CBS New York, the recall was incited after six people, who ate the products between April and late June, got sick in Wisconsin and Minnesota.

The Salmonella outbreak-prompted recall was an addition to the limited recall on July 2, where almost 58,000 pounds of frozen and raw chicken products were pulled out from the market after more cases of illnesses emerged. Portland Press Herald revealed USDA categorized the recall as "Class I," which is the most serious type with a rational possibility that eating food would cause serious health problems.

The Stop & Shop grocery chain has also pulled out a variety of stuffed chicken products from its store due to the Salmonella outbreak, according to Bethel Patch.

More than 1.7 million pounds of stuffed chicken products were recalled by Portland-based stuffed chicken products manufacturer, Barber Foods. The recall came after the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) warned that chickens and other poultry can spread Salmonella.

Salmonella infection is commonly acquired from eating or handling food infected with the Salmonella bacteria. However, RT.com has learned that many cases of the major Salmonella outbreak in America, which infected at least 181 people in 40 states, were related to getting too friendly with live poultry, as said by the CDC.

Meanwhile, the Canadian Food Inspection Agency has advised the consumers that No Name brands are also recalling their stuffed chicken products in the market. Due to the ongoing U.S. Salmonella outbreak, the agency warned the shoppers not to consume the recalled products. Distributors, retailers and food service establishments, on the other hand, should not sell or use any of the foodstuffs.

Every year, Salmonella causes 1.2 million illnesses and 450 deaths in the U.S. It is also one of the most generally known food-borne illnesses that can cause diarrhea, cramping and fever.

For a complete list of the recalled products, check out Barber Foods, USDA and the Canadian Food Inspection Agency's websites.