Kosher chicken has been linked to 1 case of death and 17 cases of people who got sick, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports.
CDC is currently investigating the outbreak and according to reports, a number of people who fell ill ate chicken bought from the Empire Kosher brand. CDC has found out that the company's facility had a salmonella strain in its raw chicken samples.
"The outbreak strain was also identified in samples of raw chicken collected from two facilities, including one facility that processes Empire Kosher brand chicken," noted CDC.
About The Outbreak
CDC said that the ages of those who got sick range from less than a year old to 76 years old. Furthermore, U.S. Department of Agriculture's Food Safety and Inspection Service, or FSIS, and Empire Kosher Poultry, Inc. said that the products were produced and made available to consumers from September of last year to June 2018.
Empire Kosher sells both raw chicken parts and whole chicken. No recall has also been issued.
Eight people have been admitted to the hospital in the states of New York, which also reported the highest number of cases at 11. Other states with affected individuals include Virginia, Maryland, and Pennsylvania. Although the brand is also sold in New Jersey, no illnesses have been reported in the area.
FSIS also educated people about the symptoms of salmonellosis such as abdominal cramps, diarrhea, and fever that could be experienced from 12 hours to 3 days after eating the infected food. Many people can recover from the illness, which lasts up to 7 days, even without medicine or treatment.
"Children younger than 5 years of age, adults older than 65 years of age, and people with weakened immune systems are more likely to have severe illness," warned the CDC.
How To Handle Chicken Properly
Despite the outbreak, CDC is not discouraging people from buying products from the Pennsylvania-based brand. However, they are advising people to properly and thoroughly cook the chicken and make sure that the internal temperature is 165 degrees Fahrenheit to make sure that all dangerous bacteria and germs are eliminated.
After handling the chicken, people must also wash their hands with soap and water for 20 seconds together with the items and surfaces that were in contact with the raw meat.
"We are not advising people to avoid eating kosher chicken or Empire Kosher brand chicken because there are steps that can be taken to make the product safe to eat," CDC spokesman Benjamin Haynes said in an interview with NPR.