Salmonella outbreak in 29 states tied to raw chicken products

State and federal health officials are investigating an outbreak of drug-resistant Salmonella that has sickened dozens of people in 29 states.

None of the reported cases were in Vermont or New Hampshire. But 10 people were infected in New York and nine in Massachusetts.

The outbreak is linked to raw chicken pet food, raw chicken products from 58 poultry processing facilities and live chickens, the federal Centers for Disease Control said. 

No deaths have been reported, although 21 people have been hospitalized. The CDC is not advising consumers to avoid eating chicken that is properly cooked or telling grocers and other retailers to stop selling raw chicken products.

Symptoms of Salmonella include diarrhea, fever, and stomach cramps 12 to 72 hours after being exposed to the bacteria.

The illness usually lasts 4 to 7 days, and most people recover without treatment.

CDC advises consumers to follow these steps to help prevent Salmonella infection from raw chicken:

  • Wash your hands. Infections can spread from one person to another if hands have Salmonella germs on them. Wash hands before and after preparing or eating food, after contact with animals, and after using the restroom or changing diapers.
  • Cook raw chicken thoroughly to kill harmful germs. Chicken breasts, whole chickens, and ground poultry, including chicken burgers and chicken sausage, should always be cooked to an internal temperature of 165°F to kill harmful germs. Leftovers should be reheated to 165°F.
  • Don’t spread germs from raw chicken around food preparation areas. Washing raw poultry before cooking is not recommended. Germs in raw chicken can spread to other foods and kitchen surfaces. 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 if possible.
  • CDC does not recommend feeding raw diets to pets. Germs in raw pet food can make your pets sick. Your family also can get sick by handling the raw food or by taking care of your pet.

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