Frozen chicken products recalled due to salmonella risk

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — Barber Foods is expanding its recall of frozen chicken products after two more people have reported getting sick.

The Portland-based company has recalled more than 1.7 million pounds of frozen, stuffed chicken that may be contaminated with salmonella, a bacteria that can cause fever, diarrhea and stomach cramps. So far, eight people have reportedly fallen ill from consuming the products.

Initially, the suspected source of the contamination was Barber Foods’ Breaded Boneless Raw Stuffed Chicken Kiev, but the new recall includes some of its other popular varieties, such as Chicken Cordon Bleu, Chicken with Broccoli and Cheese, and Chicken Tenders.

The recalled products will contain lot code numbers along with use by/sell by dates of April 28, May 20, or July 21 of 2016, which can be found on the side of the box.

Barber Foods said since the two new illnesses, they now have new microbiological evidence of the root cause of this recall, however they wouldn’t specify what it is.

Customer Kathy Cotter said she questions why the company waited 11 days to expand the recall.

“The distributors should let the stores know that there has been a problem,” said Cotter. “I would hope that they recalled quickly and didn’t wait until this had gone on for a very long time and then let the public know.”

The USDA warns consumers to handle raw chicken with care to avoid cross-contamination. Cooking chicken thoroughly to an internal temperature of 165 degrees should kill salmonella.

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