MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — It is a busy day at Ruby’s Pantry popup in Forest Lake. Founder Lyn Sahr is making sure customers know the food is safe to eat.
“We just went through our … 16th year, and we’ve never had one incident ever of any kind like this,” Sahr said.
He says six people got salmonella poising after eating a breaded chicken product, similar to a larger chicken nugget.
“It didn’t have a label on it, so people who got it weren’t aware that it was raw, they didn’t know what the handling instructions were,” said Amy Saupe, a foodborne disease expert with the Minnesota Department of Health.
The health departments of Minnesota and Wisconsin are reminding anyone who took home a chicken product from Ruby’s Pantry that it is safe to eat — so long as it is cooked through properly.
Sahr says two of the salmonella cases in Minnesota involved children who simply microwaved the chicken.
“That company never sent us, that we know of, uncooked chicken before,” Sahr said.
Meanwhile, two women from Minnesota are among the five people have now died nationwide from E. coli linked to romaine lettuce grown in Arizona.
Health officials say salmonella and E. coli cases are a reminder to always properly cook food, wash produce and stay on top of warnings.
Ruby’s Pantry is not currently handling the original product, but they do have something similar, only this time it is fully cooked. Any customer that goes home with the product Saturday and on will get two labels explaining how to properly-cook through their meat.
MDH officials says the tainted lettuce — which is not related to Ruby’s Pantry — is likely already discarded. They say lettuce in stores now should be safe to eat.