For the third time in the last month, a Salmonella outbreak has been linked to live poultry from a mail-order hatchery. The Salmonella Hadar outbreak, announced July 23, 2012 by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), has been linked to a hatchery in Idaho whose name is being withheld at the request of state authorities.
So far, 37 people in 11 states have been sickened, about 40 percent of them are children under 10. Eight people became so sick they required hospitalization. The case count by sate is as follows: Arizona (2), California (1), Colorado (3), Idaho (5), Illinois (2), Oregon (5), Tennessee (2), Texas (1), Utah (5), Washington (9), and Wyoming (2). Eight people have been hospitalized in this outbreak. Thirty-seven percent of patients are children 10 years of age or younger.
Contact with live poultry, such as chicks and ducklings, can cause Salmonella infections in humans which can be serious and sometimes life-threatening. Live poultry infected with Salmonella can appear healthy and clean, but still shed Salmonella germs that can make people sick.Proper hand washing is essential after touching live birds or anything in the areas where they are kept. Adults should supervise the hand washing of young children.
During interviews, those sickened said they bought live poultry for backyard flocks that would produce eggs or meat, or be kept as pets. Of the 20 people who had available purchase information, 17 reported purchasing live poultry from multiple locations of 13 feed store companies in several states. “Because the potential for Salmonella infection exists wherever these live poultry are sold, and not just at one feed store, CDC’s recommendations apply wherever these poultry are sold,” the announcement stated.
The unnamed hatchery, called Hatchery B in the announcement, participates in the U.S.Department of Agriculture’s (USDA)-National Poultry Improvement Plan, the goal of which is to eliminate Salmonella pullorum and Salmonella typhoid from breeder flocks. Hatching season is over, so Hatchery B is not currently selling live poultry.
Live poultry infected with Salmonella can appear healthy and clean, but still shed Salmonella germs that can make people sick. Because live poultry from Hatchery B may live in backyard flocks for long periods of time, it is important to be aware of the risk of Salmonella infection from these birds, as well as all live poultry, and to follow the Advice to Consumers.
The other outbreaks linked to live poultry include an outbreak linked to live poultry from Mt. Healthy Hatchery in Ohio. Salmonella Infantis, Salmonella Newport, and Salmonella Lille are the bacteria that have sickened 144 people in 26 states. That outbreak was disclosed on May 31, 2012. Another outbreak linked to poultry from Estes Hatchery was declared on June 26, 2012 that included 66 ill persons in 20 states. That outbreak was caused by Salmonella Montevideo.