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Marler Blog Providing Commentary on Food Poisoning Outbreaks & Litigation

Why would 174 consumers in New York, New Jersey, Maryland, Pennsylvania and Minnesota eat raw chicken liver?

Screen Shot 2011-11-09 at 3.21.14 PM.pngPerhaps because they thought BROILED CHICKEN LIVERS meant that it was cooked?

Definition – Broiled:

1. Cook (meat or fish) by exposure to direct, intense heat: “he broiled a wedge of sea bass”; “a broiled sirloin steak”.

According the CDC, in August 2011, CDC identified a sustained increase in the number of Salmonella Heidelberg isolates with the outbreak strain reported to PulseNet from New York and New Jersey. From April 1 to November 4, 2011, a total of 157 illnesses were reported in New York (93 cases) and New Jersey (64 cases). On November 8, 2011, Schreiber Processing Corporation, of Maspeth, New York, announced a voluntary recall of an undetermined amount of “kosher broiled chicken liver” products. Maryland health officials have received reports of nine cases linked to the outbreak, including seven adults and two children. The Pennsylvania Department of Health (PDH) has confirmed seven outbreak-related cases that occurred from April through August. Minnesota Department of Health counts one. The total ill is 174.

  • Interested Party

    Why would the USDA let that through their labeling approval?

  • Sam

    It says “KOSHER” on the label. Most people believe that “kosher” means the food is somehow more pure, more safe. The fact is, kosher certification is a huge scam that adds virtually NO value to the food supply chain. I’m curious to know if any of these victims thought their chicken livers (ick!!!) were safer because they are kosher.

  • Linda

    I think this one is on the consumer. On the label it DOES say, “For further thermal processing”.
    It also gives directions for further cooking, as well as a box with “Safe Handling Instructions”.
    Why so many people totally missed this is pretty incredible. This is an outbreak where the consumers can only blame themselves. Industry must be breathing a sigh of relief…
    They got a break until the next one that is on them again.

  • Carl Custer

    Once upon a time, there was no partially-cooked poultry. Once it went over body heat (IIRC 105F) it had to be heated to 160F.
    But the rule was amended to permit partially cooked breakfast strips.
    9 CFR 381.150 Requirements for the production of fully cooked poultry products and partially cooked poultry breakfast strips.
    (a) Fully cooked poultry products must be produced using processes ensuring that the products meet the following performance standards:
    (1) Lethality. A 7-log10 reduction of Salmonella . . .
    (2) Stabilization. . . .
    (b) Partially cooked poultry breakfast strips must be produced using processes ensuring that the products meet the performance standard listed in paragraph (a)(2) of this section. Labeling for these products must comply with Sec. 381.125. In addition, the statement “Partially Cooked: For Safety, Cook Until Well Done” must appear on the principal display panel in letters no smaller than \1/2\ the size of the largest letter in the product name. Detailed cooking instructions shall be provided on the immediate container of the products.
    But it appears that this product was not intended for retail sale:
    9CFR 381.125 (b)(4): Poultry products intended for further processing at another official establishment are exempt from the requirements prescribed in paragraphs (b)(1) through (b)(3) of this section.

  • With all that being said … why did the USDA approve this label?

  • Minkpuppy

    Wasn’t this linked to delis that repackaged the livers and used them in chopped liver? If that’s the case, it’s not really the consumer’s fault. If the deli failed to read the labels and didn’t further cook the livers, it’s on them.