Frozen chicken entrees linked to salmonella outbreakby Lorna Benson, Minnesota Public Radio
St. Paul, Minn. — Raw, frozen chicken entrees once again have been linked to a salmonella outbreak in Minnesota.
The Minnesota Department of Health said two people were sickened after eating breaded, pre-browned chicken cordon bleu produced by Milford Valley Farms.
Food-borne diseases specialist Kirk Smith said one of the victims prepared the frozen entree in a microwave, even though that method of preparation is not recommended on the package.
"People are used to cooking these things in a microwave," Smith said. "So even though they're not being marketed as microwavable anymore and there are not microwave cooking instructions on the label anymore some people are probably going to microwave these things. And that's really what we want to get away from."
Smith said entree manufacturers no longer market these types of products as microwavable. But he says some consumers might not be reading the instructions closely enough.
"After you cook it with a microwave the product might be plenty hot enough to kill salmonella in one part, but an inch away it might be cool and the salmonella survives," he said. "And also because this stuff is breaded and pre-browned it looks cooked."
Smith said this is the fifth such salmonella outbreak since 1998 linked to these types of frozen chicken products. He said the Health Department is working with the U.S. Department of Agriculture to determine whether to issue a voluntary recall on the products.
Both Minnesota victims were hospitalized, but have since recovered.