At least 92 people in 29 states including California have been sickened by a strain of drug-resistant salmonella after consuming a variety of raw chicken products. According to a KTLA news report, 21 of the sick patients were hospitalized. So far, no deaths have been reported. The source of the raw chicken is not clear and no single common supplier has been identified.
The strain has surfaced in samples from a variety of raw chicken products including pet food, chicken pieces, ground chicken and whole chickens. The bacteria have also been found in live chickens. The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food and Safety Inspection Service (FSIS) is monitoring the outbreak as the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) investigates it. This particular strain of the bacteria is resistant to several antibiotics, which is the most common treatment for these infections. The CDC says the outbreak began in January and more people have tested positive for this particular strain through September.
Understanding Salmonella Infections
Salmonella is the most common cause of food-borne illnesses in the United States. Some of the common symptoms of salmonella poisoning include stomach pain, cramps, diarrhea and fever 12 to 72 hours after exposure to the bacteria. While many get better in about a week without any treatment, symptoms may worsen for people who have other medical conditions as well as for young children, the elderly and those with weakened immune systems.
The CDC is recommending a number of ways in which you may try and prevent these infections. Always wash your hands when handling raw meat or poultry. Do not wash chicken before you cook it since it may spread the germs to other surface causing cross contamination. Cook chicken to an internal temperature of 165 degrees Fahrenheit to kill harmful bacteria.
If You Have Been Sickened
There are a number of steps you can take if you have been affected by these salmonella-tainted chicken products or any other contaminated product that caused your illness. First, make sure you get prompt medical attention, treatment and care. Ask your medical provider to run the appropriate diagnostic tests for food poisoning. Preserve the food product that caused your illness so it can be independently tested for the presence of pathogens. Report your illness to the local healthcare agency as this helps you create a record. Immediately contact an experienced California food poisoning lawyer who will help you secure maximum compensation for all your losses.