Microwave Ovens Linked to Salmonella Cases

US - Following an outbreak of salmonella food poisoning traced to poultry products, a Kansas State University professor warns consumers that ready meals including raw meat require oven cooking.
calendar icon 7 October 2008
clock icon 2 minute read

An outbreak of salmonella in raw, frozen, breaded stuffed chicken has sickened 32 people in 12 states. As the number of frozen, meal solutions increase – chicken kiev, cordon blue, strips, nuggets and others – a Kansas State University professor is warning consumers to be careful with that entrée.

"Some of these frozen meals are fully cooked and just need to be reheated, and some are raw," said Doug Powell, associate professor of food safety at K-State.

"It doesn't seem fair but consumers really have to read the labels. Raw product should always be cooked in an oven, not a microwave, and needs to be checked with a digital, tip-sensitive thermometer to make sure the food has reached a safe temperature of 165°F."

Investigators from the Minnesota Department of Health note that this is the sixth outbreak of salmonellosis in Minnesota linked to these types of products since 1998. The findings prompted the officials to urge consumers to make sure that all raw poultry products are handled carefully and cooked thoroughly, and to avoid cooking raw chicken products in the microwave because of the risk of undercooking, Professor Powell said.

A table of the relevant outbreaks is available by clicking here.

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