DECATUR, Ala. (WHNT) — Unlike steak and tuna, chicken is not a meat safe to consume raw. After a recall of locally-produced pre-cooked chicken, food safety officials warn of the danger of consuming undercooked chicken.
Food Safety lawyer Bill Marler told News 19 consuming undercooked chicken puts people at risk of contracting bacteria like salmonella or campylobacter.
“[Salmonella] causes about a million and a half illnesses every year in the United States, Marler said. “You usually get sick within 12 to 72 hours.”
Campylobacter symptoms may take longer to present.
“[People with campylobacter] usually are sick within two to four days,” Marler said. “Both have similar symptoms, but illnesses from Campylobacter can be much more severe.”
Symptoms may include fever, diarrhea, vomiting, and nausea.
More than 15 tons of ready-to-eat chicken produced by Wayne Farms in Decatur has been recalled because of concerns that the batch may be undercooked. The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service announced the recall after investigating a customer complaint that the chicken did not appear to be fully cooked.
The recall affects around 30,285 pounds of the chicken breasts that are labeled as 4 oz. and 6 oz. “ALL NATURAL FIRE GRILLED CHICKEN BREAST.” The chicken was packaged between March 1 and March 21 and shipped to a distributor in Illinois and several restaurants. Items under the recall will have the establishment number “EST. 20214” on the case.
If found, these products should be thrown away or returned to the distributor.
A Wayne Farms spokesman said the chicken was sold to a distributor, and that distributor is working with customers to make sure the recalled meat is returned.
Wayne Farms LLC is voluntarily recalling approximately 30,285 pounds of fully cooked fire grilled chicken breast products produced in the company’s Decatur Alabama prepared foods facility. Company officials stressed that the recall is an isolated incident involving production on both March 1 and March 21 for a single customer. A thorough review of our processes revealed no indications of any systemic failures or deviations from our normal procedures and there have been no reports of adverse reactions due to consumption of the products. Wayne Farms initiated the recall in an abundance of caution following shipment to US Foods. The company has notified the Food Safety and Inspection Service of the USDA of the decision to recall the products, which bear establishment number P-20214 inside the USDA mark of inspection.Frank Singleton, Wayne Farms Media Relations
Though no adverse reactions have been reported, Marler said consumers should still be cautious when consuming meat products.
“Sometimes these ready-to-eat, already cooked products can be risky,” Marler said.
Consumers with food safety concerns can contact the the toll-free USDA Meat and Poultry Hotline at 888-674-6854. The Food Safety and Inspection Service’s Electronic Consumer Complaint Monitoring System is available 24 hours a day and can be accessed here.