Chicken Liver Recall
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Chicken Liver Recall

A badly worded label may have lead to an outbreak of Salmonella Heidelberg and the recall of an unknown quantity of "Broiled Chicken Livers."

From the time, I was just a young boy living on the farm; I have eaten chicken and turkey innards. I loved eating the heart, liver, and stomach by themselves or in a homemade chicken noodle soup. They were some of my favorite parts of the chicken, along with the neck, and they still are today. Back then, we got them from the chickens we raised and had freshly killed for the pot. Today, they come with the frozen roasters that I buy, or they come separately packaged. I buy them and use them in different dishes that I prepare, but it seems like with every passing day, more of the foods that I really enjoy eating are actually becoming more dangerous to consume. Every day now, more of my favorite foods are being recalled because of some foodborne disease.

According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, the CDC, chicken livers contaminated with Salmonella Heidelberg has struck down 179 people in six states.

Salmonella Heidelberg

Salmonella Heidelberg normally found only in horses is an especially dangerous strain of Salmonella because it is antibiotic resistant. Most people who contract Salmonella Heidelberg require hospitalization.

In March of this year (2011) an outbreak of Salmonella Heidelberg that was traced back to packages of ground turkey caused 76 illnesses nationwide, with most of the cases being from Michigan, Ohio, Texas, Illinois, California and Pennsylvania. Twenty-two of those 76 infections resulted in hospitalization and one of them resulted in death. Now, this same deadly strain is being found in chicken livers.

Broiled Chicken Liver Recall

The kosher broiled chicken livers, sold by Schreiber Processing Corp. of Maspeth, NY, under the MealMart brand, were recalled on November 8th. The chicken livers had been distributed to states of New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Maryland, Minnesota, Ohio, Rhode Island, and Florida. There have been 179 cases of Salmonella Heidelberg traced back to the recalled chicken liver. Those people infected with this antibiotic-resistant strain of Salmonella range in age from 1 to 97 years of age with the median age of the victims being 13 years of age.

A case of misunderstanding the label

According to a report from the CDC, the experts believe that the outbreak may have occurred because people misunderstood the package labeling. The label, “Broiled Chicken Livers” would appear to mean that the chicken livers were fully-cooked and ready to eat. In reality, the chicken livers were not fully cooked and ready to eat.

Schreiber Processing Corp will be changing the way the label is worded but that is like closing the barn door after the horse has escaped. The CDC informed them that when partially cooked chicken livers are repackaged for sale; retailers should clearly label them as requiring further cooking.

The safe cooking of chicken liver

The CDC wants consumers to dispose of any of these chicken liver products that they may have in their homes. Furthermore, the CDC advises that all chicken liver products should be cooked to an internal core temperature of 165 degrees Fahrenheit.

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Comments (7)

Great alert here. Shameful how we seem to fully rely on producers of our foods to make them safe.

very timely alert ... one more reason to have pizza for Thanksgiving! I know I can convince the kids. Now to convince the hubby!

voted up. Great job

Ranked #4 in Food Safety

It's good to get the word out. We had severe food poisoning in July from chicken and I haven't touched it since.

Ranked #13 in Food Safety

There have been so many product recall because of this salmonella. This is very frequent here in my country.

Interesting and informative work

Ranked #2 in Food Safety

Interesting how the labels could be misleading or misread. Makes me think about one of my favorite foods, chopped liver.