The June issue of the Journal of Food Protection included an article by Laura MacDougall in regards to a case control investigation of frozen chicken nuggets and strips. MacDougall is with Epidemiology Services at the British Columbia Centre for Disease Control in Vancouver. The investigation was initiated due to the discovery of Salmonella enterica var. Heidelberg in those food products.
Most frozen nuggets and strips are raw; however, par-frying lends a cooked appearance. As such, suitable food preparation precautions might not be undertaken by consumers. One-third of consumers interviewed considered frozen nuggets and strips to be precooked, and one quarter used the microwave, an ill-advised cooking method. Consumer misconceptions like these contributed to the risk of infection.
The odds of infection were 11 times higher in individuals who had consumed frozen processed chicken nuggets and strips.
The article recommends clearer labels identifying nuggets and strips as raw poultry are needed.