A new recall of chicken products sold at UK supermarkets has laid bare the real cost of eating budget poultry.

A terrifying five people have died after eating contaminated chicken, experts suspect. 480 more people fell ill with salmonella poisoning in the past year.

Of those people, one in three were hospitalised. 44 per cent of victims were 16 or under, the Mail Online has reported.

Hundreds or thousands more could have contracted the bug without knowing, experts think.

The contaminated products in question are the SFC Chicken Poppets and Take Home Boneless Buckets. Chicken Inn’s bag of 32 jumbo chicken nuggets also contain the bug.

Sainsbury’s and Morrisons sold the products, as well as Heron Foods stores, B&M, and B&M Express.

Dangerous bug

All of the chicken found in these products came from sources in Poland which are associated with two strains of a dangerous salmonella food poisoning bug.

The Food Standards Agency (FSA) issued a recall of the dodgy chicken products.

The agency saw an increase in salmonellosis cases throughout 2020, which these strains of Salmonella caused.

Sainsbury’s issued a statement saying: “We are asking customers who have purchased this product not to eat it and to return the item to their nearest Sainsbury’s store for a full refund when they next visit for groceries & other essentials.

100 warnings

“For any concerns or queries or if you are vulnerable, shielding or otherwise unable to return the product to store then please email [email protected] with a photograph of the packaging which clearly shows the batch code information from the inner packaging.”

Salmonella is often found in raw meat and the bug can cause fever, diarrhoea and abdominal cramps.

Various European countries have issued nearly 100 warnings about salmonella in chilled or frozen poultry from Poland since the start of 2020.

Lidl, Aldi and Iceland also recalled a raft of other similar products.

Avoid illness

The FSA said: “Vestey Foods is recalling the above product. Point of sale notices will be displayed in all retail stores that are selling this product.

“If you have bought any of the above product do not eat it. Instead, return it to the store from where it was bought for a full refund,” it added.

Aldi and Iceland also urgently recalled chicken products last year over fears they might contain salmonella.

So how can you avoid the risks of contracting an infection from bad chicken?

Well, Chief operating officer of the FSA, Colin Sullivan, 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.”

Or maybe just steer clear of the fake KFC products and opt for a healthier choice…

Image via Alamy