Ready-to-eat breaded chicken products, subject to new USDA regulations to declare salmonella as adulterant, are often the cause of salmonella outbreaks.
From 1998 to 2022, 11 salmonella outbreaks associated with these products were reported, according to a new study. Salmonella was detected in 57% of his outbreak-specific samples from patient homes and retail outlets. The outbreak continues, but a small number of patients reported cooking the product in the microwave after the label change.
The number of patients who have become ill from these products is likely much higher than reported in outbreaks, the authors say. eating the product. A US census reported that 7.4% had eaten these products in the previous week.
The researchers’ findings include the fact that the outbreak continues despite consumer-based interventions and that additional control measures against Salmonella contamination by manufacturers will reduce Salmonella-related illness associated with these products. It includes the fact that you can
The study, “Salmonella Outbreaks Associated with Inedible Breaded Poultry Products—United States,” was published in the Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR) by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention .
On April 28, 2023, the USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service issued a rule declaring Salmonella to be a contaminant in breaded chicken products.
According to the study, non-ready-to-eat (NRTE) breaded chicken stuffings (such as chicken stuffed with broccoli and cheese) typically have a crispy, browned surface and appear cooked.
These products have repeatedly been linked to salmonellosis outbreaks in the United States, despite packaging changes beginning in 2006 to identify the products as raw and warn against microwave cooking. It has been taken.
The FSIS proposal is to declare Salmonella “adulter*” in these products at levels of 1 colony forming unit per gram or higher. Salmonella outbreaks associated with NRTE breaded poultry products from 1998 to 2022 were documented in CDC’s Foodborne Disease Surveillance System (FDOSS) reports, outbreak questionnaires, web posts, and the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH). ) and data from the United States. USDA Food Safety Inspection Service (FSIS).
According to the report, 11 outbreaks have been confirmed in FDOSS. Salmonella was detected in a median of 57% of cultures per outbreak in cultured samples of products obtained from patient homes and retail stores during the 10 outbreaks.
NRTE’s breaded chicken products were produced in at least three facilities. In his seven recent outbreaks, up to 75% of sick respondents reported having microwaved the product, believing the product was sold fully cooked or fully cooked. I reported that I don’t know if I need it.
It was sold raw or fully cooked. Outbreaks associated with these products have occurred despite changes to product labels that better inform consumers that the product is raw and provide instructions on safe preparation, and consumer-targeted interventions Additional salmonella controls at the manufacturer level to reduce contamination of ingredients may reduce illness caused by NRTE breaded poultry products, researchers say. there is.
State health officials submit reports of foodborne Salmonella outbreaks to FDOSS. A foodborne outbreak is defined as an outbreak of similar illness associated with exposure of two or more people to a common food product. FDOSS confirmed an outbreak of Salmonella referring to frozen, breaded and stuffed chicken that occurred between 1998 and 2022. Data for 2022 are incomplete. Search results were supplemented by information obtained from developmental researchers and by reviews of questionnaires administered to sick persons, web posts, product recall information, product sampling results, and data from MDH and his FSIS. .
Collected from patient interviews during the Minnesota and multistate outbreak investigations to determine how patients cooked during the outbreak and whether they believed the product was sold fully cooked The collected data were compiled. After labeling changes began in 2006, responses from outbreaks occurring between 2008 and 2021 were compared with responses from previous outbreaks. This activity was reviewed by the CDC and was conducted in accordance with applicable federal law and CDC policy.
NRTE breaded chicken products were the confirmed food vehicle in 11 salmonella outbreaks between 1998 and 2022, with 187 illnesses, 42 hospitalizations and no deaths. Outbreaks were caused by Salmonella serovars Enteritidis (7 outbreaks), Typhimurium (2), Heidelberg (1), and I4.,12:i- (1). In 10 of the 11 outbreaks, the product was cooked in private homes. Her 21 states in the United States have confirmed outbreaks. Five of the six single-state outbreaks occurred in Minnesota, and each multistate outbreak resulted in an outbreak of disease in Minnesota. Of the 139 patients for whom data from 10 outbreaks were available, 73 (53%) were male and 64 (42%) of the 153 patients were aged 20-49 years.
In three outbreaks in 2015 and 2021, NRTE breaded chicken fillings were made with minced chicken. The type of chicken used during previous outbreaks has not been documented. FSIS issued product recalls in six outbreaks and public health alerts in seven. Product samples were collected from patients’ homes in 9 outbreaks and from retail outlets in 10. The median number of samples per outbreak was 57% (range = 0% to 100%) and 57% from the patient’s home (range = 11% to 93%). of samples per outbreak from retail outlets) yielded Salmonella when cultured. Isolates from at least one product were consistent with patient serotypes or strains in all outbreaks in which the product was sampled. In one outbreak, the production facility was unknown. Products in his other 10 outbreaks were from at least three production facilities. Facilities ‘A’ and ‘B’ were each involved in 5 outbreaks, and premises ‘C’ was involved in his 3 outbreaks. Facilities A and C are still open. These are two of his six facilities in the US that manufacture these products.
Of the 47 patients who provided data on utensils used to prepare the product in four outbreaks from 1998 to 2006 (before product label changes), a median of 85% per outbreak ( range = 67% to 100%) reported cooked product. Microwave ovens; of 57 patients who provided these data from 7 outbreaks from 2008 to 2021 (after label changes), a median of 20% per occurrence (range = 0% to 75%) was reported to have been microwaved. In four outbreaks between 1998 and 2006, a median of 56 percent per outbreak among 37 patients who provided information on whether they believed the product was sold fully cooked. (range = 33 percent to 100 percent) reported thinking the product was fully cooked. Didn’t know if it was sold fully cooked or raw or fully cooked. Of the 34 patients who provided this information in 6 outbreaks from 2008 to 2021, a median of 27% (range = 0% to 75%) per outbreak had the product fully heated. I didn’t know if it was sold fresh or whole. cooked.
Between 1998 and 2022, 11 Salmonella outbreaks (involving 187 patients) associated with NRTE breaded chicken products were reported in the United States. Most of the products tested contained salmonella. Products were produced at least he three facilities. Outbreaks continue to occur despite changes to product labels to better inform consumers and increase the percentage of people who understand that the product is being sold raw. Therefore, researchers conclude that stronger controls are needed to prevent illnesses associated with these products.
NRTE’s breaded chicken stuffed products can be made with different types of chicken, including shreds, fillets and other parts. Certain types of poultry are subject to FSIS Performance Standards used to measure a facility’s process controls. The chicken shreds used in the production of these products have the highest acceptable percentage (13/52 [25 percent]) Salmonella-positive.
Canada enacted restrictions on certain breaded poultry products after investigators identified 19 salmonella outbreaks caused by NRTE breaded poultry products between 2015 and 2019. bottom. These products were not stuffed. Most were chicken nuggets. The government has introduced four management options in unfilled products to reduce salmonella to below detectable levels in these products. -2018, 7% lower than the base year 2010-2014.
Researchers found that consumer-based interventions alone, such as improved product labeling, were not effective solutions. In recent years, labels have recommended using a conventional oven rather than a microwave and using a food grade thermometer. However, according to consumer research studies, 12% of consumers are unaware that a product is raw or semi-cooked when they read the label, and 52% of consumers who own a food thermometer Reportedly did not use it normally during these preparations. product.
While labeling changes help protect consumers, survey data shows that some people have become ill despite knowing the product was raw and following the cooking instructions. In addition, label changes cannot address inequalities in access to recommended cookware.
Although the relevant products were distributed nationwide, MDH officials identified all outbreaks that occurred in multiple states, with cases confirmed only in Minnesota in nearly half of the outbreaks.
The sickness even among people who reported using conventional ovens and knew the product was raw shows a lack of consumer-based interventions. The high contamination rates of products in outbreaks and the lack of initial recognition of multistate outbreaks by states other than Minnesota suggest that the prevalence of illness from these products is higher than indicated by the outbreaks. I’m here. Moreover, only a small fraction of all salmonella diseases are identified as such.
Finally, the study states that increased salmonella control at manufacturers producing these products can reduce illness. The USDA’s proposal to declare that it would further focus on this public health issue and encourage producers to better control salmonella in the ingredients used to make these products.
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