The Food Standards Agency (FSA), Food Standards Scotland (FSS), Public Health England (PHE) and Public Health Wales have reminded people to take care when cooking frozen raw breaded chicken products at home, such as nuggets, goujons, dippers, poppers and kievs.
Saheer Gharbia, head of the Gastrointestinal Pathogens Unit of PHE’s National Infection Service, said: “Cases continue to be reported, albeit at lower levels than last year, following the control measures taken to date.
Those at risk
“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 and may require hospitalisation. Anyone who is concerned about symptoms should contact their GP or out of hours service in the first instance.”
The FSA issued similar advice in October last year. Since January 2020, it said, there had been at least 480 cases of Salmonellosis – up from 390 reported in October – caused by two strains of Salmonella Enteritidis linked to consumption of frozen, raw, breaded chicken products.
Outbreaks of Salmonella involving chicken products have been linked to six recalls reported by the FSA since August last year involving retailers from across the UK.
This included: SFC Chicken products; Iceland Chip Shop Curry Chicken Breast Topps and Southern Fried Chicken Popsters; Roosters Southern Fried Poppin’ Chicken; Red Hen Breaded Chicken; and Chick Inn 32 jumbo Chicken Nuggets.
Investigations into the two strains of Salmonella linked to frozen raw breaded chicken products are continuing.
Colin Sullivan, FSA chief operating officer, added: “Our advice is to always take care when storing, handling and cooking these types of frozen breaded chicken products to help reduce the risk of food poisoning to you and your family.”
Meanwhile, a new system for detecting E.coli O157 in raw ground beef and raw beef trim has been developed by detection and inspection expert PerkinElmer.