Compliments brand chicken strips linked to Salmonella illnesses in Canada

Sofina Foods Inc. (Sofina) has recalled Compliments brand raw, breaded chicken strips after the product was implicated in a Salmonella outbreak, according to a recall notice posted on the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) website.

The public is advised to avoid consuming the following product, and to discard the product or return it to the place of purchase.

Compliments brand Chicken Strips – Breaded Chicken Cutlettes – Uncooked (907g; Product code (Outer package) 2019 NO 24 / (Inner package) 3288M; UPC 0 57742 33687 0)

The chicken strips were sold nationally until May 1, 2019 but some consumers may still have the product in their freezer.

This is one of 17 Salmonella outbreaks traced to raw, breaded chicken products in Canada since May 2017. The most recent outbreak was declared over by the Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC) on May 13th.

Symptoms of Salmonella illness may include stomach cramps, diarrhea, nausea, vomiting and low-grade fever. Typically, symptoms appear from six to 72 hours following infection, and can last up to a week.

The very young, the elderly, pregnant women and individuals with weakened immune systems may experience more severe symptoms, including dehydration or potentially life-threatening systemic infection.

Individuals who consumed a raw, breaded chicken product and experienced symptoms of Salmonella infection should consult a healthcare provider.

Frozen, breaded chicken strips or nuggets are raw products and should be handled with care. PHAC recommends the following precautions when preparing these products:

  • Do not eat raw or undercooked frozen breaded chicken products. Cook all frozen raw breaded chicken products to an internal temperature of at least 74°C (165°F) to ensure that they are safe to eat. Use a digital food thermometer to verify the temperature. Insert the digital food thermometer through the side of the product, all the way to the middle. Oven-safe meat thermometers that are designed for testing whole chicken and roasts during cooking are not suitable for testing nuggets, strips or burgers.
  • Microwave cooking of frozen raw breaded chicken products – including chicken nuggets, strips, burgers, popcorn chicken or chicken fries – is not recommended because of the possibility of uneven heating.
  • Always follow the cooking instructions on the package, including for products labelled Uncooked, Cook and Serve, Ready to Cook, and Oven Ready.
  • Wash your hands thoroughly with soap and warm water before and after handling frozen raw breaded chicken products.
  • Use a separate plate, cutting board and utensils when handling frozen raw breaded chicken products to prevent the spread of harmful bacteria.
  • Do not re-use plates, cutting boards or utensils that have come in contact with frozen raw breaded chicken products to serve the cooked product unless they have been thoroughly washed.