MARKHAM, ON, March 26, 2019 /CNW/ - Frozen raw breaded chicken products are great tasting, easy to prepare and represent an affordable protein source. That is why they have been one of Canadian families' preferred meal options for years. Unfortunately, despite all educational efforts by industry, including regulatory bodies, a small number of consumers become ill with Salmonella each year.
"Food safety is paramount to us and we remain committed to producing safe food products for Canadians," said Rick Turvey, Executive Vice-President, Sofina Foods Inc. "Our production facilities meet or exceed the highest global standards of food safety."
Salmonella exists naturally in chicken and is completely destroyed when the meat is cooked to the right temperature. The measures taken by Sofina Foods include alerting consumers that the product is raw by enhancing its packaging with the addition of wording such as Raw or Uncooked, using visual icons in the instructions section and including instructions on inner bags.
"Raw breaded and battered products have a golden appearance and look cooked, but this is raw chicken," added Turvey. "A recent recall was prompted by a consumer using a microwave to prepare the product so we feel the need to take additional measures to reinforce our safety message to consumers on proper cooking practices."
As communicated by Sofina Foods as well as the Canadian Food Inspection Agency and the Public Health Agency of Canada:
Consumers preparing frozen breaded chicken products should take the following precautions to protect their health:
- 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.
- Do not microwave these products.
- 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.
More information on safe internal cooking temperatures and safe food handling, can be found under the Health/Food and Nutrition section of the Government of Canada's website (https://www.canada.ca/en/health-canada/services/general-food-safety-tips/safe-internal-cooking-temperatures.html
About Sofina Foods Inc.
Sofina Foods Inc. is a privately owned Canadian company headquartered in Markham, Ontario dedicated to providing great tasting, high quality food products for consumers. As one of the nation's leading manufacturers of primary and further processed protein products for both retail and foodservice customers, Sofina Foods has a broad portfolio of branded and private label pork, beef, turkey, and chicken products. Sofina's family of branded products consists of: Cuddy, Lilydale, Janes, Mastro, San Daniele, Fletcher's, Vienna and Zamzam. Sofina Foods currently operates 16 HACCP-approved manufacturing facilities, three hatcheries, two distribution centers and employs close to 5,000 people. To learn more about Sofina Foods, please visit www.sofinafoods.com.
SOURCE Sofina Foods Inc.
For further information: Media contact: Daniele Dufour, Sr. Director, Communications and PR, Sofina Foods Inc., [email protected]