The Wisconsin Department of Health Services (DHS), Minnesota Department of Health (MDH), Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection (DATCP), Minnesota Department Agriculture (MDA), and local health departments are investigating at least four cases of salmonellosis affecting three Wisconsin residents and one Minnesota resident. All four of the patients received frozen breaded chicken products at a Ruby’s Pantry pop-up location before their illnesses. Specifically, a raw breaded chicken product, that may look fully cooked, was distributed to Ruby’s Pantry patrons without cooking instructions or labels stating that the product was raw.
Anyone who received any unlabeled chicken products from any Ruby’s Pantry location is advised to either discard any remaining product or cook it to an internal temperature of 165oF. These products may be raw even if they appear cooked. Ruby’s Pantry is cooperating with investigators and has voluntarily agreed to not distribute any unlabeled chicken products.
Raw chicken products can be contaminated with Salmonella or other pathogens. When handling raw chicken products, it is important to take steps to protect you and your family. The following tips are recommended for the safe handling of raw poultry:
- Wash hands and surfaces often when handling raw poultry.
- Separate raw meats and poultry from other foods in the refrigerator.
- Refrigerate or freeze raw poultry promptly after purchasing.
- Cook all raw poultry to an internal temperature of 165oF.
- Always follow manufacturer’s instructions provided on product packaging.
- Place cooked poultry on a clean plate or platter before serving.
- Report suspected food poisoning to your local health department.
Salmonellosis is caused by Salmonella bacteria that are spread by eating or drinking contaminated food or water, or by direct or indirect contact with fecal matter from infected people or animals. Symptoms include diarrhea, abdominal pains, fever, and vomiting that lasts for several days. Bloodstream infections can occur, but are rare, and can be quite serious in the very young and older people. Most people recover from salmonellosis on their own, but may require extra fluids to prevent dehydration.
If you have consumed chicken from a Ruby’s Pantry and are experiencing symptoms of salmonellosis, contact your health care provider.