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 National

WATCH: The history of Memorial Day

Fresh
23-overlay3

This All-American holiday took a long and winding road to become an annual tradition.

in Sports

This weekend’s sports schedule

Fresh
lebronjames

Here's a look at some of this weekend's biggest sporting events.

in Entertainment, Sports, Viral Videos

WATCH: Getting married by The Rock

19-overlay7

It's normal to cry at weddings, but you'll laugh at this one too.

in Lifestyle, National

To the beach! Roads expected to be packed for Memorial Day

gas

With lower gas prices and an improved job market, AAA expects more than 37 million Americans to travel this weekend, the most since 2005.

in Sports

Aaron Hernandez has a new, mystery tattoo

aaronhernandez

There were two "appearances" from former NFL player and convicted murderer Aaron Hernandez in court yesterday.