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Outbreaks of Salmonellosis in Minnesota (1998 through 2006) Associated with Frozen, Microwaveable, Breaded, Stuffed Chicken Products

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From 1998 through 2006, four outbreaks of salmonellosis associated with raw, frozen, microwaveable, breaded, prebrowned, stuffed chicken products were identified in Minnesota. In 1998, 33 Salmonella Typhimurium cases were associated with a single brand of Chicken Kiev. In 2005, four Salmonella Heidelberg cases were associated with a different brand and variety (Chicken Broccoli and Cheese). From 2005 to 2006, 27 Salmonella Enteritidis cases were associated with multiple varieties of product, predominately of the same brand involved in the 1998 outbreak. In 2006, three Salmonella Typhimurium cases were associated with the same brand of product involved in the 2005 Salmonella Heidelberg outbreak. The outbreak serotype and pulsed-field gel electrophoresis subtype of Salmonella were isolated from product in each outbreak. In these outbreaks, most individuals affected thought that the product was precooked due to its breaded and prebrowned nature, most used a microwave oven, most did not follow package cooking instructions, and none took the internal temperature of the cooked product. Similar to previous salmonellosis outbreaks associated with raw, breaded chicken nuggets or strips in Canada and Australia, inadequate labeling, consumer responses to labeling, and microwave cooking were the key factors in the occurrence of these outbreaks. Modification of labels, verification of cooking instructions by the manufacturer, and notifications to alert the public that these products contain raw poultry, implemented because of the first two outbreaks, did not prevent the other outbreaks. Microwave cooking is not recommended as a preparation method for these types of products, unless they are precooked or irradiated prior to sale.

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Acute Disease Investigation and Control Section, Minnesota Department of Health, P.O. Box 64975, St. Paul, Minnesota 55164-0975, USA 2: Public Health Laboratory Division, Minnesota Department of Health, P.O. Box 64975, St. Paul, Minnesota 55164-0975, USA 3: University of Minnesota School of Public Health, Division of Environmental Health Sciences, Minneapolis, Minnesota, 55414, USA 4: Dairy, Food and Meat Inspection Division, Minnesota Department of Agriculture, St. Paul, Minnesota 55164-0975, USA 5: Laboratory Services Division, Minnesota Department of Agriculture, St. Paul, Minnesota 55164-0975, USA 6: University of Minnesota College of Veterinary Medicine, Veterinary Public Health, St. Paul, Minnesota 55108, USA

Publication date: October 1, 2008

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