The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Food and Inspection Service (FSIS) has issued a public health alert warning consumers of illnesses caused by the bacteria Salmonella and associated with the consumption of chicken processed by three Foster Farms facilities in California. Salmonella bacteria are well known potential contaminants of raw chicken and eggs and with proper handling and cooking are safe for consumption.
Here are some food safety tips:
- Keep food properly refrigerated before cooking.
- Wash hands with soap and warm water before handling food. Clean surfaces before preparing food on them. Food contact surfaces may be sanitized with a freshly made solution of 1 tablespoon of unscented, liquid chlorine bleach in 1 gallon of water.
- Separate cooked foods from ready-to-eat foods. Do not use utensils on cooked foods that were previously used on raw foods and do not place cooked foods on plates where raw foods once were unless it has been cleaned thoroughly.
- Cook poultry to a safe minimum internal temperature of 165°F as measured with a food thermometer.
- Chill food promptly and properly. Refrigerate or freeze perishables, prepared foods, and leftovers within 2 hours.
Symptoms of Salmonella infection include fever, abdominal cramps, and diarrhea which may be bloody. Most infected people recover within a week; however, some may develop complications that require hospitalization. Infants, the elderly, and people with weakened immune systems are at highest risk for more severe illness. Additional information concerning Salmonella can be found at the California Department of Public Health (CDPH). People who develop symptoms of Salmonella infection should consult their healthcare provider.
More information can also be found at Foster Farms and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC):