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Four salmonella cases linked to chicken from Ruby's Pantry sites

ST. PAUL — Four people have become ill with salmonella from chicken distributed by a network of food pantries with locations in Minnesota and Wisconsin, according to a news release issued Friday, June 1, by the Minnesota Department of Health.

Officials are investigating the salmonella cases that have affected one Minnesotan and three Wisconsin residents. Before falling ill, all four patients received frozen breaded chicken products from Ruby's Pantry, a nonprofit group that distributes food donated by grocery stores and restaurants.

The salmonella infections are linked to a raw breaded chicken product that looked fully cooked, but had no cooking instructions or labels stating the chicken was raw.

The raw poultry was distributed at a number of Ruby's Pantry locations in Wisconsin and Minnesota. In this region, the pantry has a location at Minnesota State Community and Technical College in Moorhead, as well as sites in Breckenridge, Detroit Lakes, Perham and Menahga.

The Minnesota Department of Health is advising anyone who received any unlabeled chicken products from one of the locations to either discard the product or cook it to an internal temperature of 165 degrees, as the product may be raw even if it appears cooked.

Ruby's Pantry is cooperating with investigators and voluntarily agreed to not distribute any unlabeled chicken products, according to the Health Department.