Kosher Chicken Linked to Deadly Salmonella Outbreak

Salmonella has sickened 17 people in four states and one person has died, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Eight people were so sick they had to be hospitalized.

The illnesses have been linked to kosher chicken. Several people reported getting sick after eating Empire-brand kosher chicken. Empire is the largest producer of kosher poultry in the United States.

No cases have been reported in Georgia, but four other states have people who have fallen ill. New York is reporting 11 cases with one death, four people in Pennsylvania have gotten sick along with cases in Maryland and Virginia.

The earliest illness linked to this outbreak began September 25, 2017, and the most recent case began June 4th of this year.

Salmonella illness usually begins between 12 and 72 hours after consuming the bacteria. Symptoms can include diarrhea, fever and stomach cramps and can last four to seven days.

Children younger than 5, adults older than 65 and those with weakened immune systems are more likely to develop severe illness when exposed to salmonella.

CDC estimates Salmonella causes about 1.2 million illnesses, 23,000 hospitalizations, and 450 deaths in the United States every year. Food is the source for about 1 million of these illnesses.

Dr. Laura Gieraltowski with the CDC says, "CDC is not advising that consumers avoid eating kosher chicken products or that retailers stop selling raw kosher chicken products, chicken including kosher chicken is safe to eat if it's handled carefully and cooked thoroughly."

Always handle raw chicken carefully and cook it thoroughly to prevent food poisoning. This outbreak is a reminder that raw chicken products can have germs that spread around food preparation areas and can make you sick.

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