News

Hundreds sickened in chicken salmonella outbreak

Hundreds sickened in chicken salmonella outbreak

SALMONELLA OUTBREAK: Raw products from the facilities bear one of the following numbers inside a USDA mark of inspection or elsewhere on the package: P6137, P6137A or P7632. Photo: Associated Press

By Ros Krasny

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Hundreds of people in 18 states have become sick from a salmonella outbreak linked to raw chicken products made at three California plants owned by Foster Farms, the U.S. Department of Agriculture said on Monday.

“The outbreak is continuing,” USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service said in a statement.

An estimated 278 illnesses, mostly in California, were caused by strains of Salmonella Heidelberg. The chicken products were distributed mostly to retail outlets in California, Oregon and Washington state, USDA said.

The illnesses were linked to Foster Farms brand chicken through epidemiologic, laboratory and traceback investigations conducted by local, state and federal officials.

In a statement, Livingston, California-based Foster Farms said it was working with authorities to reduce the incidence of Salmonella Heidelberg on raw chicken products.

No recall is in effect, the privately owned company added.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is partnering with state health departments to monitor the outbreak while the Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) continues its investigation, USDA said.

“In addition to collaborating with FSIS and CDC, the company has retained national experts in epidemiology and food safety technology to assess current practices and identify opportunities for further improvement,” Foster Farms President Ron Foster said in a statement.

Salmonella Heidelberg is the third most common strain of the Salmonella pathogen, which can result in foodborne illness if not destroyed by the heat of proper cooking.

The most common symptoms of salmonella infection are diarrhea, abdominal cramps and fever within eight to 72 hours. Additional symptoms may be chills, headache, nausea and vomiting that can last up to seven days.

FSIS is one of the arms of USDA that continues to work during the federal government shutdown, but with reduced staffing. Meat, poultry and processed egg inspection activities have been maintained.

Raw products from the facilities bear one of the following numbers inside a USDA mark of inspection or elsewhere on the package: P6137, P6137A or P7632.

Recent Headlines

in Music

Aretha Franklin to mentor ‘Idol’ wannabes

Fresh
franklin

The soul star is also slated to perform on an upcoming episode of "American Idol."

in Music

New music now comes out on Fridays

Fresh
music

For decades, new music releases came out on Tuesdays, but not anymore.

in Music

Drake ties Beatles chart record

Fresh
drake

With more than a dozen songs on the Billboard Hot 100 chart, Drake has tied a record set in 1964.

in Entertainment

‘Focus’ reigns supreme at weekend box office

Fresh
focus

Will Smith has whipped "Fifty Shades of Grey" in the box office race.

in Entertainment

‘Divergent’ author working on new series

Fresh
veronicaroth

The books currently are untitled, with the first one expected in 2017.