TWO ongoing salmonella outbreaks have led to food standards and public health chiefs issuing a reminder to residents over taking care when handling and cooking frozen raw breaded chicken products.

The warning relates to products such as nuggets, goujons, dippers, poppers and kievs as the Foord Standard Agency (FSA) issued two further recalls linked to two ongoing outbreaks of Salmonella Enteritidis (a food poisoning bug).

An investigation is ongoing into two particular strains of Salmonella linked to frozen raw breaded chicken products.

In recent weeks, recalls have been issued for some SFC Chicken, Vesty Foods, Lidl, Aldi and Iceland products.

The FSA saw an increase in salmonellosis cases caused by these strains of Salmonella throughout 2020.

Control measures were put in place, businesses undertook product recalls and the FSA published alert notifications.

Colin Sullivan, FSA chief operating officer, said: "Our advice is to always take care when storing, handling and cooking these types of frozen breaded chicken products to help reduce the risk of food poisoning to you and your family.

"You should always check the cooking instructions on food packaging, as different brands of the same product might have different instructions. Cooking food at the right temperature and for the correct length of time will ensure that any harmful bacteria are killed."

Saheer Gharbia, Public Health England National Infection Service's head of the gastrointestinal pathogens unit, said: "Cases continue to be reported, albeit at lower levels than last year, following the control measures taken to date.

"Salmonella generally causes a mild illness, although vulnerable groups like children under five years, the elderly, and those with weakened immune systems may experience more severe illness and may require hospitalisation. Symptoms of a Salmonella infection include diarrhoea, stomach cramps and sometimes vomiting and fever. Anyone who is concerned about symptoms should contact their GP or out of hours service in the first instance."

Top food hygiene tips:

  • Always carefully check the advice on food packaging and follow the cooking instructions provided
  • If the packaging advises the product should be thawed/defrosted before cooking, follow the instructions
  • Consume or freeze food by its use-by date
  • Wash your hands with soap and water after touching raw chicken products and before you handle ready-to-eat food
  • Avoid cross-contamination by cleaning any surface, plate or utensil that has been in contact with raw meat

Salmonella is a common bacteria that can cause food poisoning. Salmonella can be found in raw meat (processed and unprocessed), undercooked poultry and unpasteurised milk. Inadequate cooking and cross-contamination in the kitchen during food preparation can lead to Salmonellosis.