By next month food companies will be required to have more explicit instructions that uncooked, breaded or boneless poultry products need to be cooked.
The new requirement was sparked by a recent food recall due to consumer confusion over whether such products needed to be cooked. The product led to a number of people falling sick from Salmonella enteritidis.
The labelling must be submitted for re-approval by May 1. If the FSIS does not receive the modified labels by the deadline, manufacturers will will have to withdraw the product.
The new labels should clearly state: "Uncooked: For Safety, Must be Cooked to an Internal Temperature of 165 degrees F as Measured by Use of a Thermometer", the FSIS recommended in a regulatory notice.
Serenade Foods Division, a Milford, Indiana firm, recently voluntarily recalled 75,800 pounds of frozen stuffed chicken entrees. The raw chicken entrees, because of their frozen state, labeling, and cooked appearance, may have caused consumers to believe these raw products are pre-cooked, the recall notice stated. The products were contaminated with Salmonella Enteritidis that causes human illness.