A Salmonella outbreak linked to raw chicken products has sickened 92 people in 21 states, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Twenty-nine people have been hospitalized.
Raw Chicken Salmonella Outbreak
Health officials used genetic testing to identify people who are part of this outbreak. The 92 case-patients, who range in age from less than one year old to 105 years old, reported onset-of-illness dates from January 19, 2018, to September 9, 2018. During interviews with health officials, 89 percent of case-patients reported preparing or eating chicken that had been purchased raw before they became ill. They mentioned multiple stores and multiple brands of raw chicken products including ground chicken, chicken pieces, and whole chicken. Neither the CDC nor the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (USDA FSIS) disclosed the names of the stores where the products were sold or the brand names of the products linked to these illnesses.
Although most of the people sickened in this outbreak ate chicken before becoming ill, two case-patients did not. One of them became ill after pets in their home were served raw ground chicken pet food. The other one “lived with someone who works in a facility that raises or processes chickens,” according to the CDC.
Salmonella Infantis Outbreak Strain
Health officials collected samples from 58 slaughterhouses and/or processing establishments, from the raw chicken pet food; and from live chickens. The outbreak strain was found in all of them. In fact, health officials found the outbreak strain in so many samples they think it might be widespread in the chicken industry. What’s more, many of the samples showed resistance to antibiotics. Antibiotic-resistant infections are often more severe than those that are not. This can mean more hospitalizations and longer hospital stays.
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