Salmonella Outbreak Linked to Foster Farms Chicken

By Valarie Basheda
WebMD Health News

Reviewed by Brunilda Nazario, MD

Feb. 15, 2013 -- The CDC is investigating an outbreak of salmonella linked to raw Foster Farms chicken that has sickened 124 people in 12 states.

No deaths have been reported.

Most of the people infected with the illness live in Washington state and Oregon. The illnesses were reported from June 4, 2012, to Jan. 6 of this year. More than half of those who came down with the food-borne illness were female, and 31 were hospitalized.

Foster Farms says in a statement that it is not recalling any products. “It is widely known that all raw chicken must be responsibly handled and properly prepared to ensure safety and quality,” the statement says.

The company says consumers should cook raw chicken to 165 degrees and avoid preparing other food on surfaces touched by raw chicken to prevent cross-contamination.

Symptoms of salmonella infection include diarrhea, fever, and stomach cramps. It usually lasts about 4 to 7 days, and most people get better without treatment. Babies, older adults, and people with weak immune systems are most vulnerable.

The CDC is working with the USDA and public health officials from a number of states on the investigation.

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SOURCES: Foster Farms: “For Pacific Northwest Consumers: Food Safety Update.” CDC: “Multistate Outbreak of Salmonella Heidelberg Infections Linked to Chicken.” © 2013 WebMD, LLC. All rights reserved.

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