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Smith's yanks chicken in Salmonella outbreak

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The Kroger Co. (NYSE: KR) family of stores, including Fred Meyer, Fry's, King Soopers/City

Market, Ralphs, Food 4 Less (west coast), Smith's in southern Nevada

and New Mexico, and QFC, today responded to a USDA public health alert

raising concerns of illness caused by strains of Salmonella Heidelberg

that is associated with raw chicken products from three Foster Farms

production facilities, by removing those products from sale.

Other Foster Farms facilities have not been linked to the outbreak by the

USDA. These chicken products are sold under a variety of labels and

identifiable by looking on packages for the following USDA mark of

inspection numbers: P6137, P6137A and P7632.

The company is removing products from its Fred Meyer, Fry's, King

Soopers/City Market, Ralphs, Food 4 Less (west coast), Smith's in

southern Nevada and New Mexico, and QFC stores and warehouses after

learning that the Salmonella outbreak has sickened an estimated 278

people in 18 states. Kroger, Dillons and Jay C division stores are not

included in the removal.

The company is also initiating its customer notification system that

alerts customers through register receipt tape messages and phone

calls.

Customers should carefully check their refrigerators and freezers for

the referenced product. Any opened or unopened products with the USDA

mark of inspection numbers P6137, P6137A or P7632 should be returned

to their local Fred Meyer, Fry's, King Soopers, Ralphs, Food 4 Less

(west coast), Smith's in southern Nevada or New Mexico, or QFC store

for a full refund.

Customers who have questions may contact Kroger at 1-800-KROGERS.

Customers are reminded that proper handling, storage and cooking of

raw chicken offers the best protection against food-borne illness.

According to the USDA, when poultry is thoroughly cooked to an

internal temperature of no less than 165 degrees as measured by a food

thermometer, any harmful bacteria are destroyed and the food is safe

to consume.

Kroger, one of the world's largest retailers, employs 343,000

associates who serve customers in 2,418 supermarkets and

multi-department stores in 31 states under two dozen local banner

names including Kroger, City Market, Dillons, Jay C, Food 4 Less, Fred

Meyer, Fry's, King Soopers, QFC, Ralphs and Smith's. The company also

operates 783 convenience stores, 326 fine jewelry stores, 1,195

supermarket fuel centers and 37 food processing plants in the U.S.