Consumers as critical control point: 190 sickened in multistate outbreak of human Salmonella Heidelberg infections linked to kosher broiled chicken livers

I don’t know who eats broiled chicken livers, but enough people do that 190 of them got sick in six states since April 2011, from Salmonella Heidelberg in the partially-cooked product.

The outbreak is another talking point in the point-the-finger approach to foodborne illness: dumb consumers, you should read the labels and know these thingies need to be fully cooked. And watch the cross-contamination.

• A total of 190 illnesses due to Salmonella Heidelberg with the outbreak pattern were reported from 6 states.
• The number of ill persons identified in each state the product is distributed to is as follows: New York (109), New Jersey (62), Pennsylvania (10), Maryland (6), Ohio (2), and Minnesota (1).
• Collaborative investigative efforts of state, local, and federal public health and regulatory agencies indicated that a product labeled as “kosher broiled chicken livers” is the source of this outbreak.
• Contaminated "kosher broiled chicken livers" were recalled from grocery stores but may still be in consumers’ homes.
• Among persons for whom information is available in in these states, ill persons ranged in age from <1 to 97 years with a median age of 14 years. Forty-nine percent were female. Among the 154 ill persons with available information, 30 (19%) were hospitalized. No deaths were reported.

Consumers may have incorrectly thought the use of the word “broiled” in the label meant the chicken liver was ready-to-eat; however, these chicken livers must be fully cooked before eating. How the hell would anyone know?