A total of 36 people infected with the outbreak strain of Salmonella Enteritidis were reported from 11 states. The true number of sick people in an outbreak is likely much higher than the number reported, and the outbreak may not be limited to the states with known illnesses. This is because many people recover without medical care and are not tested for Salmonella.
Illnesses started on dates ranging from February 21, 2021, to August 16, 2021 (see timeline). Sick people ranged in age from 1 to 83 years, with a median age of 38 years, and 57% were female. Of 32 people with information available, 12 were hospitalized. No deaths were reported.
State and local public health officials interviewed people about the foods they ate in the week before they got sick. Of the 27 people interviewed, 14 (52%) reported preparing and eating frozen breaded stuffed chicken products. They bought different brands of raw frozen breaded stuffed chicken products from multiple stores.
Public health investigators used the PulseNet system to identify illnesses that were part of this outbreak. CDC PulseNet manages a national database of DNA fingerprints of bacteria that cause foodborne illnesses. DNA fingerprinting is performed on bacteria using a method called whole genome sequencing (WGS).
WGS showed that bacteria from sick people’s samples were closely related genetically. This suggests that people in this outbreak got sick from the same food.
The Minnesota Department of Agriculture collected five raw frozen breaded stuffed chicken products from a grocery store where a sick person purchased these products. Testing identified the outbreak strain in two samples of Kirkwood’s Chicken Cordon Bleu. USDA-FSIS and Indiana officials collected unopened packages of Kirkwood Chicken, Broccoli and Cheese from a sick person’s house for testing and identified the outbreak strain in the product. USDA-FSIS investigated and found that these products were produced at facility P-2375.
The following frozen, raw chicken products that are breaded, pre-browned, and stuffed have been recalled:
- Dutch Farms Chicken with Broccoli & Cheese (lot code BR 1055; best if used by Feb 24 2023)
- Milford Valley Chicken with Broccoli & Cheese (lot code BR 1055; best if used by Feb 24 2023)
- Milford Valley Chicken Cordon Bleu (lot code BR 1055; best if used by Feb 24 2023)
- Kirkwood Raw Stuffed Chicken, Broccoli & Cheese (lot code BR 1055; best if used by Feb 24 2023)
- Kirkwood Raw Stuffed Chicken Cordon Bleu (lot code BR 1056; best if used by Feb 25 2023)