The Centers For Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) revealed on Oct. 17 that they were investigating an antibiotic-resistant salmonella outbreak linked to raw chicken products. So far, 92 people were reported to be infected from 29 states.
The report revealed that the affected people reported eating different types and brands of chicken products that were bought from different locations. Some of the reported foods that tested positive for the outbreak strain include raw chicken pet food, raw chicken products, and live chickens. The CDC also conducted antibiotic-resistance testing and found that the strain of salmonella in the chicken is resistant to multiple antibiotics.
Of the 21 people who have been hospitalized, no one has died. But the CDC did note in their investigation that since this salmonella strain was present in live chickens and many types of raw chicken products, "It might be widespread in the chicken industry."
Fortunately, the CDC are not saying consumers need to avoid chicken altogether; properly stored and cooked chicken should be fine. Rather, it's a great reminder to handle raw chicken carefully and cook it thoroughly to prevent food poisoning. Some tips they listed to prevent food poisoning include:
- Wash your hands
- Cook raw chicken thoroughly to kill harmful germs
- Don't spread germs from raw chicken around food preparation areas
- The CDC does not recommend feeding raw diets to pets
Some symptoms of salmonella include diarrhea, fever, and stomach cramps 12 to 72 hours after being exposed, and it usually lasts four to seven days with most people recovering without treatment. However, in some cases, diarrhea may be so severe that it requires hospitalization. If a young child, older adult, or person with a weakened immune system gets salmonella, they should see a doctor if they have any of the following symptoms: bloody stools, dehydration, or an ongoing high fever, according to WebMD.