Federal food safety officials are investigating illnesses, which they say, are connected to a salmonella outbreak in kosher chicken, which has left one person dead and sickened 16 others across four states. According to a USA Today news article, the Empire Kosher brand raw chicken items, which may include raw whole chicken and chicken parts, were produced and sold to consumers from September 2017 to June 2018. Cases tied to the outbreak have been reported so far in New York, Pennsylvania, Maryland and Virginia.
Authorities are still worried that some of these products may be frozen and still in consumers’ freezers. Those who bought these products are urged to properly handle, prepare and cook these raw chicken products. Food safety investigators were notified about a number of salmonella illnesses on June 18. The U.S. Department of Agriculture determined the link between Empire Kosher brand raw chicken products and the outbreak. About half of the 17 people who were sickened required hospitalization.
How Salmonella Infections Can Affect You
Consuming food that is tainted with salmonella bacteria can cause an infection known as salmonellosis. It is one of the most common foodborne illnesses in the United States. Some of the symptoms of salmonellosis include diarrhea, abdominal cramps and fever within 12 to 72 hours of exposure to the bacteria.
Typically, the illness lasts 4 to 7 days. Some recover without treatment. Others may need to be hospitalized due to severe diarrhea or dehydration, and may need to be treated with antibiotics. Young children, older adults and those with compromised immune systems may be more likely to develop a severe illness.
Preparing Raw Meats
USDA officials are cautioning consumers to prepare these raw meat products with care and that they consume chicken products that have been cooked to 165 degrees. The only way to make sure the bacteria are dead is to use a food thermometer to ensure that the meat has been cooked to the right internal temperature. Raw poultry should also be handled with care. Proper washing of hands after handling these products is critical. Kitchen surfaces should also be kept clean so raw poultry juices don’t cross-contaminate other foods.
If you or a loved one has been sickened due to the negligence of a food producer or restaurant, it is important to understand that you have legal rights. You may be able to seek compensation from the at-fault parties for damages such as medical expenses, lost income, hospitalization and pain and suffering. An experienced California food poisoning lawyer will be able to help protect your rights and secure the compensation you rightfully deserve.