Foster Farms has issued a "limited" voluntary recall of chicken products sold in March of 2014.
The California-based purveyor of chicken products says the products were sold under both the Foster Farms label and several private label brand names in California stores.
Foster Farms products currently in stores are unaffected, according to the Foster Farms website.
Foster Farms released the following statement about the voluntary recall:
In cooperation with the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), Foster Farms is initiating a voluntary Class I recall of chicken products produced in March with “use or freeze by” dates ranging from March 21, 2014 to March 29, 2014 and very limited frozen Sunland chicken products, due to the potential presence of Salmonella Heidelberg. Only products made in California within this specific March timeframe and with plant codes of P-6137, P-6137A and P-7632 are involved. Fresh Foster Farms branded chicken products in grocery stores today are not involved. Individually frozen bags of chicken sold at retail are not involved. Products were sold under the Foster Farms and private label brand names.
This recall is prompted by a single illness associated with specific fresh chicken product, but in the fullest interest of food safety, Foster Farms has broadened the recall to encompass all products packaged at that time. Foster Farms regrets any illness associated with its products.
This voluntary recall involves chicken produced during select March dates at Foster Farms’ California facilities. These products were distributed in the following states: California, Hawaii, Washington, Arizona, Nevada, Idaho, Utah, Oregon and Alaska. Retail customers have been notified. Consumers are advised to discard or return affected product to the place of purchase. A full list of involved products is on FosterFarms.com/March2014ProductRecall.Products recalled:
- Fresh chicken products sold by retailers under Foster Farms or private label brand names, with varying “use or freeze by” date ranges of March 21 to March 29, 2014, and a Plant code of P-6137, P-6137A or P-7632
- Sunland Frozen Chicken with “best by” dates of 3/7/15, 3/11/15 or 3/25/15
In October 2013, the U.S. industry average for Salmonella in poultry parts was 25 percent. At that time, Foster Farms began implementing a multi-hurdle program, designed to reduce Salmonella at each stage of the production process – from ranches where the birds are raised, to the plants where they are processed. By March 2014, when these products were produced, Foster Farms Salmonella prevalence levels companywide were less than 10%. Additional improvements since March have reduced Salmonella levels to less than 5%.
Experts agree that even with very low levels of incidence, the poultry industry cannot completely eliminate the risk of illness. All raw chicken must be properly handled to avoid cross contamination and fully cooked to 165 degrees to ensure safety.
The company now leads the industry in reducing incidence levels of Salmonella. As a result, Foster Farms is leading a specialized U.S. poultry industry working group dedicated to further reducing Salmonella during the second stage of processing, after whole birds are divided into parts. Foster Farms is actively sharing its learnings with other producers in the food industry for the benefit of consumers nationwide. Through its collaboration and data sharing with the USDA, the company is helping to set the new industry standard.
For more information, retailers can call 800-338-0374. Consumers can contact the company’s Consumer Affairs hotline at 800-338-8051 or email@example.com.