FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 30, 2016

Salmonella outbreak linked to Foster Farms chicken

A public health alert was issued on Monday after 278 illnesses caused by salmonella were linked to raw chicken produced at three Foster Farms facilities in California.

Illnesses have been reported across 18 states, however, most reports have come from California. The majority of the products were distributed at retail stores in California, Oregon and Washington state, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Food Safety and Inspection Service.

FSIS issued the public health alert on Monday but did not cite a specific product or production period for the contamination. Products from the three Foster Farms facilities suspected of producing the contaminated chicken bear the USDA identification codes P6137, P6137A or P7632 on the packaging.

The illnesses were traced back to Foster Farms and other brands of raw chicken produced at the company's plants through epidemiological laboratory studies conducted by local, state and federal officials. New reports of illnesses continue to surface, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has partnered with local and state officials to monitor the outbreak.

The most common symptoms of Salmonella infections are chills, fever, diarrhea, headache, stomach cramps, nausea and vomiting. The illness can be fatal for individuals with compromised immune systems, infants, the elderly and those who are undergoing cancer treatments.