Food Standards Scotland (FSS), Public Health Scotland (PHS), the Food Standards Agency (FSA) and Public Health England (PHE) have issued a further warning on the handling and cooking of frozen raw breaded chicken products such as nuggets, goujons, dippers, poppers and kievs.
The move comes as the organisations are involved in a multi-agency investigation into a suspected rise in cases over the past year of salmonella linked to processed chicken products and follows the issue of a further two product recalls on Thursday (February 18) for products linked to the ongoing UK outbreak of Salmonella Enteritidis (a food poisoning bug).
An investigation is on-going into two particular strains of salmonella linked to frozen raw breaded chicken products. Health agencies on both sides of the Border have recorded an increase in cases linked to these strains of Salmonella throughout 2020 and control measures were put in place including the issue of precautionary advice to consumers by both FSS and the FSA in October.
Given the long shelf life of these products and the additional recalls, both FSS and the FSA are reminding the public again about the importance of thorough cooking and safe handling of frozen breaded chicken products.
Since January 2020, there have been 480 cases of Salmonellosis across the UK, caused by two strains of Salmonella Enteritidis linked to frozen, raw, breaded chicken products – 42 of which have been confirmed in Scotland.
FSS advice is that people should always follow good hygiene practices to help reduce the risk of food poisoning when preparing raw chicken items including nuggets, goujons, dippers, poppers and kievs.
FSS Deputy Chief Executive, Ian McWatt, said:
“While the numbers of cases in Scotland related to this outbreak remain relatively low, it is important to remind people that they should always check and follow the cooking instructions on food packaging, as different brands of the same product may have different preparation processes.
“Preparing food at the right temperature and for the correct length of time will generally ensure that any harmful bacteria are killed, but people should also take care when storing and handling these types of frozen breaded chicken products to help reduce the risk of food poisoning. Ideally, these products need to be handled as other types of raw chicken”
The following recalls are linked to this Salmonella outbreak: