Officials in several states are investigating a multistate outbreak of Salmonella Infantis infections linked to raw chicken products. The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service is also monitoring the outbreak.
Twenty-one people have been hospitalized but no deaths have been reported, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Nine cases have been reported in New Jersey and no deaths have been reported.
Epidemiologic and laboratory evidence indicates that many types of raw chicken products from a variety of sources are contaminated with Salmonellaand are making people sick.
The outbreak strain of Salmonella was found in live chickens and in many types of raw chicken products, indicating it might be widespread in the chicken industry.
A single, common supplier of raw chicken products or of live chickens has not been identified.
Testing shows that the outbreak strain of Salmonella is resistant to multiple antibiotics that may be used to treat people with severe Salmonellainfection. Information for clinicians can be found HERE.
The CDC and USDA-FSIS have shared this information with representatives from the chicken industry and asked about steps that they may be taking to reduce Salmonella contamination.
CDC advises consumers to follow these steps to help prevent Salmonella infection from raw chicken:
- Always handle raw chicken carefully and cook it thoroughly to prevent food poisoning.
- CDC is NOT advising that consumers avoid eating properly cooked chicken products, or that retailers stop selling raw chicken products.
- General ways you can prevent Salmonellainfection include good handwashing and cooking chicken to an internal temperature of 165°F. More prevention advice HERE.
- Do not wash raw poultry before cooking.Germs in raw chicken can spread to other foods and kitchen surfaces.
- People get sick from Salmonella12 to 72 hours after swallowing the germ and experience diarrhea, fever, and stomach cramps.
- Most people recover within a week, but some illnesses can last longer and be more severe.
- See your healthcare provider if you are concerned about symptoms, such as a high fever (temperature over 101.5˚F), blood in your poop, diarrhea, or frequent vomiting that prevents keeping liquid down.