The Salmonella outbreak, which has infected 92 people in 29 states, has been linked to raw chicken products and is currently under investigation by the CDC.

By Real Simple
October 18, 2018
Homemade Rotisserie Chicken with Lemons
Credit: bhofack/Getty Images

An outbreak of multi drug-resistant Salmonella believed to be caused by raw chicken products has swept through 29 states, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) announced today. The outbreak, which has thus far infected 92 people, has been linked to a variety of raw chicken products from multiple sources.

In the CDC's investigation notice, the organization said the outbreak strain of SalmonellaInfantis has caused illness in 92 people in 29 states; 21 of those people have been hospitalized because of their symptoms, and no deaths have been reported thus far. Illnesses began appearing January 19, with the latest instance occurring September 9. Symptoms, which typically begin 12 to 72 hours after exposure to the bacteria, include diarrhea, fever, and stomach cramps and can last four to seven days.

Most people infected with Salmonella recover without treatment, though in rare cases, antibiotics are needed for treatment. This particular strain of Salmonellahas demonstrated resistance to multiple antibiotics, meaning treatment may be more difficult for severe cases.

The outbreak strain has been found in samples taken from raw chicken pet food, raw chicken products, and live chickens, though no single supplier of the infected raw chicken products has been identified. People who got sick from Salmonella report eating many different types of chicken products from several different locations. The CDC says SalmonellaInfantis is present in live chickens and in many types of raw chicken products, which may mean the bacteria is widespread in the chicken industry.

The CDC is not currently advising that consumers avoid consuming chicken. (As long as that chicken is properly prepared, of course.) It is recommending that consumers follow food safety procedures when preparing chicken, including washing hands often, cooking chicken thoroughly, not feeding raw diets to pets, and cleaning food preparation surfaces after cooking chicken. (The CDC does not recommend rinsing chicken before cooking it.)

People have been infected with the outbreak strain of SalmonellaInfantis in the following states: Alabama, California, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, North Carolina, Nebraska, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, and Washington. The greatest number of reported illnesses come from Pennsylvania, where 11 have occurred as of October 15.

The CDC and public health and regulatory officials are still investigating the outbreak and working to identify the source, and the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Food Safety Inspection Service is monitoring the issue.


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