Public Health Authorities Investigating Outbreak of Salmonella Infections Linked to Kosher Chicken

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), public health and regulatory officials in several states, and the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (USDA-FSIS) are investigating a multistate outbreak of Salmonella infections linked to kosher chicken.

As of Aug. 27, 2018, 17 sick people have been reported from four states (Maryland, New York, Pennsylvania, and Virginia). Eight people have been hospitalized, including one person whose death was reported from New York.

Timing of illnesses in this outbreak ranged from Sept. 25, 2017 to June 4, 2018. CDC began investigating this outbreak in late June 2018 after the New York State Department of Health found several ill people reported eating kosher chicken.

Epidemiologic and laboratory evidence indicates that some kosher chicken products are contaminated with Salmonella I 4,[5],12:i:- and have made people sick. In interviews, several ill people reported eating Empire Kosher brand chicken. The outbreak strain was also identified in samples of raw chicken collected from two facilities, including one facility that processes Empire Kosher brand chicken.

Advice to consumers:
• This outbreak is a reminder that raw chicken can contain germs that can make you sick.
• Always cook raw chicken, including chicken breasts, whole chickens, and ground chicken, to an internal temperature of 165°F to prevent food poisoning. Use a food thermometer to make sure it is cooked to this safe temperature.
• CDC is not advising that people avoid eating kosher chicken or Empire Kosher brand chicken.
• Thoroughly wash hands, counters, cutting boards, and utensils with warm, soapy water after they touch 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 it is eaten.
• Don’t wash raw chicken before cooking. During washing, chicken juices can spread in the kitchen and contaminate other food, utensils, and countertops.
• More prevention advice can be found here:
• People get sick from Salmonella 12 to 72 hours after swallowing the germ and experience diarrhea, fever, and stomach cramps. Most people recover within a week, but some illnesses can last longer and be more severe.

Source: CDC