October 23, 2021

Salmonella and Chicken: Advice From the CDC

As it investigates a multistate Salmonella outbreak linked to Foster Farms brand chicken, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has prepared some advice to consumers. The company has not issued a recall, but some stores have removed the product.

Raw whole chickenThe illnesses associated with the outbreak, which has sickened 338,  are unusually severe. The hospitalization rate for the outbreak is twice the norm, there is a high rate of blood infections which can be life-threatening, and several of the outbreak strains are resistant to antibiotics.

Three of the seven identified outbreak strains are resistant to multiple antibiotics and two are resistant to two types, Dr. Chris Braden, an infectious disease specialist who is head of CDC’s Division of Foodborne, Waterborne, and Environmental Diseases said in a statement. Multidrug-resistant Salmonella bacteria is rare, according to the CDC. “In general, antibiotic use in food animals can result in resistant Salmonella,” Braden said.

Young children, seniors, pregnant women and others with weakened immune systems are at increased risk for serious illness with Salmonella infections. A small number of Salmonella bacteria can cause severe illness for these people. Consumers should take care to prevent the juices from raw poultry from cross-contaminating other foods, prep areas or serving dishes. Chicken should always be cooked to at least 165°F as measured with a reliable and accurate food thermometer. Pathogenic bacteria are killed at that temperature. Anyone who believes they may have become ill after eating this chicken should contact a health care provider.



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