The U.S. Department of Agriculture has issued a public health alert for raw chicken packaged at three Foster Farms facilities in California. That’s after 278 people have fallen ill.
The Salmonella outbreak has spread to 18 states including Idaho. Niki Forbing-Orr is with the Idaho Department of Health and Welfare. She says two people in Idaho got sick in April and June, but neither person reported eating chicken. So it’s unclear how they got the same bacteria.
Forbing-Orr says the investigation is ongoing and people should take precautions when eating all brands of chicken. “I want to stress that it’s really not unusual for raw poultry to have the salmonella bacteria so it’s really important to cook it to an internal temperature of about 165 degrees.”
Most of the illnesses have been reported in California. And there have been no recent cases in Idaho. The USDA has not directly linked the outbreak of illnesses to a specific product or production period.
A spokesman for Foster Farms says no recall is in effect and that the infections were caused by eating undercooked or improperly handled chicken.
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