The Food Standards Agency and Public Health England are reminding people to take care when handling and cooking frozen raw breaded chicken products at home, such as nuggets, goujons, dippers, poppers and kievs.
This comes as we investigate a rise in cases of two particular strains of Salmonella Enteritidis (a food poisoning bug) linked to frozen raw breaded processed chicken products. Two product recalls have been undertaken, however further investigations are ongoing.
Nick Phin, Deputy Director of PHE’s National Infection Service, said:
‘From January 2020 there have been 390 cases of Salmonellosis caused by two strains of Salmonella Enteritidis linked to frozen, raw, breaded chicken products.
‘Salmonella generally causes a mild illness, although vulnerable groups like children under five years, the elderly, and those with weakened immune systems may experience more severe illness. Symptoms of a Salmonella infection include diarrhoea, stomach cramps and sometimes vomiting and fever. Anyone who is concerned about symptoms should contact their GP or out of hours service in the first instance.’
Further information on Salmonella can be found on the NHS choices website.
Colin Sullivan, Chief Operating Officer, FSA said:
‘You should always check the cooking instructions on food packaging, as different brands of the same product might have different instructions. Cooking food at the right temperature and for the correct length of time will ensure that any harmful bacteria are killed.
‘We’re not asking you to make changes to the food you buy, but we are asking you to always follow good hygiene practices to help reduce the risk of food poisoning to you and your family.’
Top food hygiene tips:
- Always carefully check the advice on food packaging and follow the cooking instructions provided
- If the packaging advises the product should be thawed/defrosted before cooking, follow the instructions
- Consume or freeze food by its use-by date
- Wash your hands with soap and water after touching raw chicken products and before you handle ready-to-eat food
- Avoid cross-contamination by cleaning any surface, plate or utensil that has been in contact with raw meat
Salmonella is a common bacteria that can cause food poisoning. Salmonella can be found in raw meat (processed and unprocessed), undercooked poultry and unpasteurised milk. Inadequate cooking and cross-contamination in the kitchen during food preparation can lead to Salmonellosis.
The following recalls are linked to this Salmonella outbreak: