On Monday the U.S. Department of Agriculture confused a lot of everyday people when they said they were going to declare salmonella an adulterant in breaded stuffed raw chicken products. Think chicken Kiev and cordon bleu.

Products like this could be more heavily regulated. Click for link
Products like this could be more heavily regulated. Click for link
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  • Does that mean you won't be able to buy chicken breaded and stuffed with cheese and ham or cheese and broccoli, or butter and spices? No.

It could mean tougher regulations for chicken processing plants to follow, hoping to reduce the amount of salmonella in chicken products. Is that a lot of plants in Minnesota? Again, no. We're more a turkey state. Minnesota ranks No. 1 in turkey production in the U.S. – raising 40 million birds annually (see way more Minnesota turkey stats here).

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But we do have enough plants that slaughter and process chicken for us to be aware of what's going on. Here's what the USDA's Deputy Under Secretary for Food Safety Sandra Eskin said,

“Declaring salmonella an adulterant in a raw poultry product is an important moment in U.S. food safety, and just the beginning of our efforts to reduce illnesses linked to poultry."

In a press release, the USDA said there have been up to 14 outbreaks and 200 illnesses since 1998 that involved breaded and stuffed chicken items. You've probably seen many stories on this site reminding everyone to fully cook their frozen breaded and stuffed raw chicken.

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The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (the CDC) reports one in 25 packages of chicken in grocery stores has been shown to be contaminated with salmonella.
No action is going to happen now, but the regulations are expected to be published this fall, then there'll be a comment period, then a date will be set for the regulations to go into effect.

What's This Mean to Me?

Nothing is certain until it all washes out. Directly, it means you'll be less likely to get chicken tainted with salmonella. Will the price of chicken Kiev and cordon blue-like items go up? There's a good chance, yes.

Seller at gift shop using cash register
It is not recommended to gift wrap breaded and stuffed raw frozen chicken. Getty Images/iStockphoto
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Personal Note: Every time I wrote a story about a recall because of unsafe things in our food, like botulism, or worse, I've wondered why nothing seems to be happening to address the issue. It turns out, it was being noticed and we're in the beginning stages of addressing it. I call that better news.

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Does all of this tainted food talk make you hungry for a nice clean, professionally packed snack? Then ready your tastebuds, bud!

Gallery - Top Ten Made in Minnesota Snacks

Minnesota is home to many delicious things, from hot dishes to pronto-pups. But a much smaller amount is created in and made in Minnesota. So, get munchin', sippin', and satisfyin'!

Click each image if you wnt to see what they cost, where to get 'em, etc.
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As always, if you have a comment, complaint, or concern about something I wrote here, please let me know: james.rabe@townsquaremedia.com

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