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South San Francisco Costco Issues Food Safety Recall Due to Salmonella Outbreak

A food safety recall has been issued by the Costco in South San Francisco after hundreds of consumers from across the country reported illness. The store at 1600 El Camino Real sold several products linked to recent illnesses.

The products in question are from Foster Farms chicken and include rotisserie chickens, rotisserie chicken leg quarters, rotisserie chicken salad and rotisserie chicken soup. These products were sold between September 11 and September 23. Consumers are at risk of illness from an antibiotic resistant strain of salmonella. Costco has contacted 7,807 customers who purchased items subject to the recall.

Costco is still unsure how cooked rotisserie chicken was contaminated with the salmonella strain. Approximately 40,000 pounds of chicken were sold during the reported recall dates. Costco recalled 8,730 Kirkland Signature Foster Farms rotisserie chickens, and 313 units of Kirkland Farm rotisserie chicken soup, chicken leg quarters, and salad.

The Center for Disease Control has reported 317 cases involving seven strains of salmonella. Seventy-three percent of these cases have been reported in California. Overall, 42 percent of the cases were severe enough to require hospitalization, but no deaths have been reported. Most reported cases occurred between March 1, 2013 and September 26, 2013, but more recent cases might not have been reported.

The U.S.D.A. threatened to shut down the three Foster Farms plants linked to the outbreak, but later announced that the company would be allowed to continue operations once plans to improve its operating procedures were submitted. Foster Farms then submitted and implemented immediate and substantive changes to their slaughter and processing to allow for continued operations.

Consumers are advised not to consume the products if they still have them and to discard or return any uneaten leftovers.

It is not uncommon for raw chicken meat to have certain types of bacteria present. Consumers should ensure that they cook chicken to 165 degrees Fahrenheit, which will kill any bacteria present. Additionally, care must be taken to prevent cross-contamination of raw chicken with fully cooked chicken. As long as the chicken is fully cooked, it will be safe to consume. Proper handling and preparation is very important.

The CDC established a website to track this national salmonella outbreak.

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