More Than 272 Sickened in California Salmonella Outbreak


More than 270 people have been confirmed to have been sickened by a California salmonella outbreak that has been linked to contaminated chicken.

Salmonella-related food poisoning has once again reared its ugly head in California. This time around, more than 270 people have been confirmed to have been sickened by a California salmonella outbreak. This time, the salmonella infection is being linked to contaminated chicken.

The chicken is believed to have been sourced from Foster Farms in California, and at least 278 people across 17 states have been infected. According to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, approximately 42% of the persons who have been infected as a result of this contamination, have been hospitalized. Fortunately, no fatalities have been linked to this outbreak so far. Most of the victims, or 77% are from California.

In this particular case, the strain of salmonella that caused the infection is the Heidelberg strain. Unfortunately this happens to be one of the most antibiotic-resistant strains of salmonella, and this particular pathogen is resistant to most commonly used antibiotics for the treatment of salmonella. This means that patients who contract these infections are at a much higher risk of complications, and possibly much more likely to require hospitalization, because general antibiotic therapy will not help.

However, this particular outbreak is not likely to result in any recall of the contaminated chicken. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, it is quite usual for raw poultry to contain salmonella bacteria, and therefore, the only ways to prevent salmonella infection is to follow storing, handling and cooking practices, to remove all traces of the pathogens from the chicken.

What that means is that you must protect yourselves from the risk of infection, by making sure that chicken is refrigerated properly, washed in separate utensils and thawed and cooked thoroughly.

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