Portland, Maine-based Barber Foods has recalled more than 1.7 million pounds of frozen and stuffed chicken products due to possible contamination with Salmonella Enteritidis.

Salmonella is among the most common causes of foodborne illnesses, and consuming food contaminated with the bacteria can lead to unwanted illnesses and symptoms such as stomach cramps, diarrhea and fever, which usually emerge 12 to 72 hours after exposure.

The illness often lasts from four days to a week. While most people get well without treatment, certain individuals may experience more severe diarrhea that requires hospitalization, with infants, older adults and those with weakened immune systems being the most vulnerable to severe illness.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture's Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) announced the recall on Sunday after at least six people in Minnesota and Wisconsin fell ill when they consumed the recalled products between April 5 and June 23.

The FSIS was likewise notified of a cluster of Salmonella Entertidis cases on June 24, and investigation revealed that chicken products from Barber Foods were linked to this cluster of illness.

The recall was initially announced on July 2 but only affected 58,000 pounds of chicken products that were produced between Jan. 29 and April 23 this year. The recall was, however, expanded on Sunday after reports of additional illnesses. Two more patients have been identified, and the recall now includes all products linked with the contaminated source material.

The recalled products were marked with establishment number "P-276" inside the USDA's mark of inspection and were shipped to retail locations across the country and Canada.

"The following product is subject to recall," stated FSIS, "2-lb. 4-oz. cardboard box containing 6 individually pouched pieces of 'Barber Foods Premium Entrees Breaded-Boneless Raw Stuffed Chicken Breasts with Rib Meat Kiev' with use by/sell by date of April 28, 2016, May 20, 2016 and July 21, 2016 and Lot Code number 0950292102, 0950512101, or 0951132202."

FSIS raised concern that some of the products are already in the freezers of consumers and may appear cooked. The agency said that although the chicken products seemed cook, they are raw and need to be handled carefully. FSIS also provided some guidelines in its release advising consumers to cook raw chicken and other poultry products at 165° F.

Those who have purchased the recalled products are urged to discard them or return them for a refund. Consumers who have further questions about the recall may contact Barber Foods at (844) 564-5555.

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