Safety Recall: San Francisco Costco Recalls Rotisserie Chicken

October 14th, 2013 · 3 Comments

The Costco located in San Francisco at 1600 El Camino Real has issued their own recall of almost 40,000 pounds of rotisserie chickens and assorted items made with the rotisserie chicken meat.  The chickens are considered to be be part of the salmonella outbreak related to Foster Farms chickens.  At this time, this specific Costco location is the only one issuing a recall of the rotisserie chickens.

The products subject to recall are:

  • 8,730 Kirkland Signature Foster Farms rotisserie chickens
  • 313 total units of Kirkland Farm rotisserie chicken soup, rotisserie chicken leg quarters, and rotisserie chicken salad

The products were sold directly to shoppers at the 1600 El Camino Real Costco only between September 11 and 23, 2013.  Sadly, that time frame probably means that if you purchased these items you have already consumed them.  However, if you have any of it in your freezer, don’t eat it.

This recall is part of the same salmonella outbreak that began in March and has now sickened more than 320 people in 20 states and Puerto Rico.  This outbreak has been linked with three Foster Farms poultry plants in Fresno and Livingston, California.  Government inspectors found a “high frequency” of salmonella at these plants, with tests showing an incidence rate of about 25%. The USDA has a standard of 7.5% for Salmonella on whole chickens but in practice producers get a green light if less than 10% of samples are positive for salmonella.  That seems high to me, but I’m not an expert on food safety and such.  This salmonella outbreak has been caused by the Heidelberg strain which is rarely seen in the US, but was behind an outbreak last year as well.   This strain is drug-resistant which has led to 42% of victims being hospitalized, which is double the typical rate for salmonella infections.

Salmonella infections can be life-threatening, especially to those with weak immune systems, such as infants, the elderly, and persons with HIV or undergoing chemotherapy. The most common symptoms are diarrhea, abdominal cramps and fever within eight to 72 hours. Additional symptoms may be chills, headache, nausea and vomiting that can last up to seven days.  All poultry products should be cooked to a safe minimum internal temperature of 165° F as determined by a food thermometer. Using a food thermometer is the only way to know that food has reached a high enough temperature to destroy foodborne bacteria.  You should also avoid cross contamination by double bagging raw chicken, keeping it separate from other foods and washing utensils, plates, preparation surfaces and anything else that comes into contact with raw poultry.

You can read the official recall on the USDA Food Safety and Inspection Service website.

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3 Responses so far ↓

  1. 1 Jackie // 2013.10.23 at 10:32 am

    Should recall Seattle also. Bought leg quarters and my boyfriend is still recovering from the salmonella. Public Health/county contacted us and confirmed his salmonella was Heidelberg – strain from chicken only.

  2. 2 Lindsay T // 2013.10.14 at 9:26 am

    Of *course* it’s my Costco…

    • 3 Kimberly // 2013.10.15 at 3:17 am

      @Lindsay T – Well, good news is that any rotisserie chicken you’ve purchased from them was okay or you’d have known it well before now. From what I can tell from a follow up story, it was a single chicken that tested positive for salmonella. Since they are fully cooked to a temperature well above 165F, it seems that cross contamination is most likely the culprit and that could also mean that it was something done after the chicken was taken from Costco. It’s all rather vague with these types of situations most of the time, unfortunately.

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