Aspen Foods is recalling nearly 2 million pounds of frozen chicken products after three people in Minnesota became ill with salmonella.
The recall includes breaded, raw stuffed chicken breasts that were manufactured from April 15 to July 10, according to an announcement from the Department of Agriculture.
The varieties affected include cordon bleu, broccoli and cheese, chicken Kiev, chicken parmesan and buffalo-style. Packages subject to the recall can be identified by the code “P-1358” in the USDA’s inspection mark.
Brand names include Schwan's, Roundy's, Kirkwood and Sysco.
Aspen’s recall follows a move by Barber Foods, which expanded its own poultry recall Sunday to 1.7 million pounds of frozen, raw stuffed chicken products because of reports of salmonella contamination.
Seven people in three states have fallen ill from Barber products, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The CDC had previously confirmed six cases in Minnesota and Wisconsin but found a seventh case in Oklahoma, according to Dr. Matthew Wise, the head of CDC’s outbreak response team.
Breaded chicken products can be uniquely problematic because consumers often mistakenly think that they are cooked, Wise said. That can lead to improper preparation and cross-contamination with other items in the kitchen. The USDA has recently tightened labeling requirements to include clearer instructions for such products, he added.
Koch Foods, which owns Aspen Foods, said in a statement that it is cooperating with the federal agencies and instructed customers to return recalled items for refunds.
Salmonella bacteria is most commonly found in poultry but can often be killed at temperatures of 165 degrees. “I don’t think that in this outbreak we’ve seen quite as much evidence of improper cooking of the product than we have in past outbreaks,” he added.