People Are Getting Salmonella from Air-Fryer Chicken—Here’s What You Need to Know

This is so important to know!

When it comes to food, we always say safety first. It’s easy to make mistakes when it comes to food safety, and most of the time, our only consequence is an upset stomach. However, some errors can result in a nasty infection like salmonella, and that’s when things get really bad.

Salmonella is often picked up from chicken that’s left too long in the fridge, or from undercooked poultry. Thanks to the USDA, we now know about a method that can lead to undercooking: air-frying.

This Salmonella Outbreak Is Linked to Improperly Cooked Chicken

You don’t have to put that air fryer away just yet.

But according to a public health alert from the USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service, frozen, raw, breaded and pre-browned, stuffed chicken products (whew, that’s a mouthful), may pose a risk if you air-fry or microwave them. This includes anything labeled as “chicken cordon bleu,” “chicken with broccoli and cheese” or “chicken Kiev.”

The current salmonella outbreak has affected at least 17 people in six states:

  • Michigan
  • Indiana
  • Illinois
  • Minnesota
  • New York
  • Arizona

According to the USDA, people often think stuffed chicken products are ready-to-eat, when they’re actually raw. Some of the people infected missed seeing this, or didn’t follow the instructions to cook the product throughly. Instead, consumers decided to zap the chicken in an air fryer or microwave, without heating it through properly.

There have been no recalls yet, but the USDA urges people to cook poultry throughly before eating.

How Can I Reduce My Risk?

If you’re buying frozen breaded stuffed chicken products, it’s a good idea to check if they’re labeled “raw,” and to follow the cooking instructions on the package. Make sure you cook it in the oven if the label says so, and always ensure your chicken reaches an internal temperature of 165°F. In fact, you should always make sure all your meat reaches the correct internal temperature.

Don’t make any of these other common mistakes while cooking chicken, and you should be safe. If you’ve still got questions, you can call the toll-free USDA Meat and Poultry Hotline at 1-888-MPHotline (1-888-674-6854) or live chat via Ask USDA from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. (Eastern time) Monday through Friday.

Amrita Thakkar
Amrita is an Assistant Digital Editor at Taste of Home. As a writer and amateur photographer, she often ends up applying these skills to her one great love: food. She can usually be found researching global cuisines, at the farmers market, doing yoga, or looking up new places to travel to.