Salmonella Outbreak in 4 States Linked to Kosher Chicken: CDC

One person has died and 16 others sickened in a four-state salmonella outbreak linked to kosher chicken, U.S. health officials say.

Cases have been reported in Maryland, New York, Pennsylvania and Virginia. Eight people have been hospitalized, including one patient who died in New York.

Illnesses began between Sept. 25, 2017 and June 4, 2018, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention began investigating the outbreak in late June after after the New York State Department of Health found that several ill people reported eating kosher chicken.

Tests revealed that some kosher chicken products are contaminated with salmonella, and several ill people said they'd eaten Empire Kosher brand chicken. The outbreak strain was identified in samples of raw chicken collected from two facilities, including one facility that processes Empire Kosher brand chicken, the CDC said.

The investigation is ongoing, the CDC said.

People become sick from salmonella 12 to 72 hours after swallowing the germ and develop diarrhea, fever, and stomach cramps. Most people recover within a week, but some cases last longer and are more severe.

Always cook raw chicken, including chicken breasts, whole chickens, and ground chicken, to an internal temperature of 165 degrees Fahrenheit to prevent food poisoning. Use a food thermometer to make sure, the CDC advised.

Thoroughly wash hands, counters, cutting boards, and utensils with warm, soapy water after they're in contact with raw chicken. Use a separate cutting board for raw chicken and other raw meats to avoid contaminating fruits, vegetables, and other food that won't be cooked before being eaten.

Don't wash raw chicken before cooking. Doing so can spread chicken juices in the kitchen and contaminate other food, utensils, and countertops, the CDC said.

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