A multi-state outbreak of salmonella has sickened 16 people and left one dead, a new report has revealed.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 11 cases were reported in New York, four in Pennsylvania and one each in Maryland and Virginia, with patients’ ages ranging between less than a year old and 76.
Eight people have been hospitalized including the patient who died, who was from New York.
Researchers from the CDC said several people who fell ill reported that they’d eaten kosher chicken, and specifically Empire Kosher-brand chicken.
On Tuesday, the agency revealed that the strain of salmonella was found in raw chicken samples from two facilities, including one that processes Empire Kosher- brand chicken.
According to the CDC, 11 cases were reported in New York, four in Pennsylvania and one each in Maryland and Virginia, with patients’ ages ranging between less than a year old and 76
Salmonella infections occur after eating raw meat and eggs or foods that are contaminated with the bacteria.
Symptoms can include nausea, vomiting, diarrhea and abdominal pain that generally last between four and seven days.
According to the CDC, salmonella is the cause for 1.2 million illnesses, 23,000 hospitalizations, and 450 deaths in the US annually.
Most people can recover without treatment, although there are cases where antibiotics or IV fluids are needed.
In response to the current outbreak, the US Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) issued a health alert on August 24 ‘out of an abundance of caution’.
The alert said the products, which may include raw whole chicken and raw chicken parts, were sold between September 2017 and June 2018.
FSIS said it first learned of the multiple illnesses in June after several people reported being sick in New York and an investigation was launched.
‘FSIS is concerned that some products may be frozen and in consumers’ freezers. Consumers who have purchased these products are urged to properly handle, prepare, and cook these raw chicken products,’ officials wrote.
As of Wednesday, the CDC has not issued an advisory to avoid eating kosher chicken or Empire Kosher-brand chicken.
However, the agency is urging any customer who purchased these products and still has them in their house to properly cook and prepare them regardless of whether or not they are fresh or frozen.
Such safety precautions include washing hands, cutting boards, counters and utensils with hot water and soap after handling raw meat.
They advise that chicken be cooked to at least an internal temperature of 165F to kill any germs or bacteria.
Empire Kosher has yet to issue a statement on the outbreak and no recalls of its products have been issued.
This is the latest in a series of salmonella outbreaks that have been spreading across the US.
In June, Kellogg voluntarily recalled its popular children’s cereal Honey Smacks, which has been linked to a massive salmonella outbreak that infected 100 people.
In July, Mondelez International recalled 16 varieties of Ritz Cracker Sandwiches and Ritz Bits products over salmonella risks, with two people falling.
That same month, Pepperidge Farm voluntarily recalled four types of Goldfish Crackers due to salmonella fears.