Chicken livers sicken with salmonella

In a new twist to the on-going saga of frozen, not-ready-or-ready-to-eat chicken thingies (below, left), broiled chicken liver products that are linked to a cluster of Salmonellosis illnesses in New Jersey and New York, have been recalled.

No word on how many people are sick.

The illnesses are linked to the consumption of broiled chicken livers which appear to be ready-to-eat, but are in fact partially cooked and need to be fully cooked before consumption. See, it says so on the label (right). Illnesses are also linked to chopped liver made from this product at retail stores. The outbreak strain of Salmonella Heidelberg was isolated by the New York State Department of Agriculture and Market from samples of broiled chicken livers from the establishment, and chopped chicken livers produced at retail from these livers. These products would have been repackaged and will not bear the original packaging information.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) said Schreiber Processing Corporation, a Maspeth, N.Y. establishment, is recalling an undetermined amount of broiled chicken liver products.

The outbreak strain PFGE pattern does not match another strain of Salmonella Heidelberg associated with ground turkey recalled earlier this year. It is not known at this time if this outbreak strain has any drug resistance, but any finding of drug resistance will be made public by FSIS once it becomes available.

The products subject to recall include:
• 10 lb. boxes with two, 5 lb. bags of "Meal Mart Broiled Chicken Liver; Made for Further Thermal Processing"
• 10 lb. boxes of loose packed "Chicken Liver Broiled"

Know thy suppliers: UK Kosher Deli fined for supplying meat unfit for human consumption

A kosher food supplier has been ordered to pay £27,000 by the courts for selling a pot of chopped liver containing a potentially deadly bacteria.

Bosses of Kosher Deli UK Ltd., based on the Claremont Industrial Estate, in Claremont Way, Cricklewood, admitted supplying 1kg of meat contaminated with Listeria to a residential care home in May 2008.

An investigation into the company, lead by Barnet Council’s environmental health team, was launched after an 89-year-old care home resident was diagnosed with listeriosis.

A judge at Wood Green Crown Court on Monday said serious issues at Kosher Deli had been set out in an audit report by the Meat Hygiene Service, but accepted the offence represented a lapse over a short period of time in a business which had been operating for 74 years.

Albert Bendahan, managing director of Kosher Deli, said it was “exasperating” that the case was brought based on one allegation from a care home resident, and insisted the family run company took every precaution to ensure food safety was maintained, adding,

“We continuously test and monitor our products, instruct and train our staff and live up to the requirements and beyond of the Food Standards Agency Guidelines.”

Try harder.

Raw oysters still risky

September may be a ‘R’ month but the Gulf of Mexico is still warm. I know. We’re still here. So is Vibrio vulnificus.

The Sarasota Herald Tribune reports the Florida Department of Health is warning heavy drinkers and people with liver damage to avoid eating raw oysters or exposing open wounds to still-warm Gulf and bay waters.

So far this year, six deaths from Vibrio vulnificus infection have been reported in Florida. The DOH has determined that at least two of the deaths were attributed to raw oyster consumption. Eight wound infections have been reported, but none were fatal.

Thoroughly cooking oysters — frying, stewing, or roasting them — eliminates harmful bacteria and viruses, says the DOH.