California-based food and drug retailer
) is voluntarily recalling a limited number of chicken products, in
cooperation with CA-based poultry company, Foster Farms, which
supplied the said products in the market.
The recalled products are believed to have been contaminated with
Salmonella Heidelberg - a form of gram-negative bacteria that
contaminates meat during slaughter and processing. This organism
can cause serious and sometimes, even fatal infections in young
children, frail or elderly people, and others with weakened immune
This product recall has been linked to the outbreak of an
antibiotic-resistant strain of Salmonella, which has affected more
than 500 people in the past 16 months, and has resulted in federal
action against Foster Farms. According to Centers for Disease
Control (CDC), of the 621 people infected by 7 outbreak strains of
Salmonella, 36% have been hospitalized.
Since March 2013, cases of infection have been reported across 29
states and Puerto Rico. However, investigators from the U.S.
Department of Food and Agriculture (USDA) could directly link
Foster Farms' boneless-skinless chicken breast to only one case of
In response to these findings, the USDA incriminated Foster Farms
in the Salmonella outbreak, as reported by the Huffington Post.
Consequently, Foster Farms had to issue a recall for 170 chicken
products that came from its facilities in Fresno, CA, in March this
The recalled products, made with Foster Farms-supplied chicken,
were marketed with "Use or Freeze By" dates ranging from March 17,
2014 through March 29. These items were sold during the above
period in five states - Northern California, Hawaii, Northern
Nevada, Oregon and Western Washington State, from self-service and
full-service meat counters in stores.
Since these products are always sold fresh, they are no longer
obtainable in stores. However, customers have been asked to check
for such products in their freezers and either discard them or
return them for a full refund.
The recalled products include drumsticks, thighs, chicken tenders,
and livers. Most of the products were sold under the Foster Farms
label, with some others were under the labels of FoodMaxx, Kroger,
Safeway, Savemart, Valbest, and Sunland.
It is noteworthy to mention here that it is not unusual for raw
poultry from any producer to have Salmonella bacteria. In fact, as
per USDA rules, up to 7.5% of chicken products in a plant may test
positive for the bacteria. At present, management at Foster Farms
has undertaken a plan to check Salmonella rates in its poultry,
which it believes, has been brought down to 5%.
Safeway currently holds a Zacks Rank #4 (Sell). Some better-ranked
retail stocks that warrant a look are
Tiffany & Co.
CVS Caremark Corporation
). While Tiffany sports a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy), CVS Caremark
and Herbalife bear a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy).
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