Salmonella Tied To Foster Farms Chicken Hospitalizes Dozens, May - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Salmonella Tied To Foster Farms Chicken Hospitalizes Dozens, May Be Drug-Resistant

Posted: Updated:

NBCNEWS.COM - Federal food safety workers who monitor dangerous bacteria have been recalled from furlough to track an outbreak of salmonella linked to Foster Farms chicken that has hospitalized a high proportion of victims, including some with hard-to-treat infections.

Nearly 300 people in 18 states have been sickened since about July by an outbreak of Salmonella Heidelberg traced to raw chicken from three sites run by the private California poultry producer, said Barbara Reynolds, a spokeswoman for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

About 42 percent of patients reporting complete information have been hospitalized, about double the proportion typically expected from a salmonella outbreak, Reynolds said. Of 183 complete cases, 76 patients have been hospitalized. Among those, many infections appear to be resistant to the most common antibiotics used to them, she added.

At least seven different strains of Salmonella Heidelberg have been tied to the outbreak, which led CDC officials on Tuesday to recall nine staffers for the agency's PulseNet team, which monitors the electronic fingerprint of dangerous foodborne bugs. They'd been on furlough because of a government shutdown stretching into its second week.

"We had said from the beginning that we were monitoring 30 outbreaks of foodborne illness," Reynolds said. "This is one of them. It's breaking loose now."

The CDC move follows a USDA public health alert issued Monday for the raw chicken products. The agency's Food Safety and Inspection Service has been unable to identify specific products or a specific production period for the potentially tainted chicken, but said that affected meat bears one of three establishment numbers inside a USDA inspection mark or elsewhere on the package.

The numbers are P6137, P6137A and P7632.

The chicken was distributed to retail outlets mainly in California, Oregon and Washington, but illnesses have been reported in 18 states. Those include Alaska, Arkansas, Arizona, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Michigan, North Carolina, Nevada, Oregon, Texas, Utah, Washington and Wisconsin.

The cases may share some overlap with an outbreak of Salmonella Heidelberg tied to Foster Farms chicken announced in May, Reynolds said. But most of the cases occurred since July.

The previous outbreak was declared over in July after 134 people in 13 states became sick, including 33 who were hospitalized. No deaths have been reported in either outbreak, CDC said.

Foster Farms officials said they've been working with CDC and FDA to investigate the source of salmonella at their sites. No recalls have been issued for any specific food products.

They said salmonella can be present in all raw chicken and that consumers should cook poultry thoroughly – to 165 degrees – to kill any illness-causing bacteria. CDC officials stopped short of advising consumers not to eat the potentially contaminated chicken, but said that good cooking, hand hygiene and kitchen practices should be followed.

Foster Farms officials said that the chicken is safe to eat when properly cooked and handled. Consumers can call the firm's hotline at 800-338-8051 or visit the website.

Salmonella Heidelberg is a common strain that causes illness that can be life-threatening in people with weak immune systems such as children, the elderly and those with cancer or HIV infection. Most common symptoms include diarrhea, abdominal cramps and fever within eight hours to three days after eating the contaminated product. Chills, headache, nausea and vomiting can last up to a week.

Foster Farms is a West Coast poultry producer with plants in Oregon, Washington, California and Alabama.

  • Most Popular StoriesMost Popular StoriesMore>>

  • INCREDIBLE drone video shows fire destruction over Pateros/Brewster

    INCREDIBLE drone video shows fire destruction over Pateros/Brewster

    Tuesday, July 22 2014 9:51 AM EDT2014-07-22 13:51:52 GMT
    KHQ.COM - Chelan HD Productions has given us permission to show this incredible video they shot with a drone surveying the damage done from the Carlton Complex Fire in the areas of Brewster and Pateros. This video is truly jaw dropping and really shows the level of destruction from the fire.>>
    KHQ.COM - Chelan HD Productions has given us permission to show this incredible video they shot with a drone surveying the damage done from the Carlton Complex Fire in the areas of Brewster and Pateros. This video is truly jaw dropping and really shows the level of destruction from the fire.>>
  • 10 Cheapest Houses For Sale In Spokane

    10 Cheapest Houses For Sale In Spokane

    Wednesday, November 27 2013 2:35 AM EST2013-11-27 07:35:08 GMT
    Whether you are in the market for an affordable place to live or are in the business of flipping houses, here are the 10 cheapest homes for sale in Spokane according to AllSpokaneHomes.com.>>
    SPOKANE, Wash. - Whether you are in the market for an affordable place to live or are in the business of flipping houses, here are the 10 cheapest homes for sale in Spokane according to AllSpokaneHomes.com. Yes, they all need some work and some need a lot more than others, but when your mortgage payment is around the $200/month range there's at least something to stay positive about.>>
  • Government selling home connected to Henrikson

    Government selling home connected to Henrikson

    Tuesday, July 22 2014 12:05 PM EDT2014-07-22 16:05:36 GMT
    BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) - The U.S. attorney's office plans to sell a home connected to a man who has been questioned in an alleged murder-for-hire scheme in Spokane, Washington, and is awaiting trial on weapons charges in North Dakota. The case centers on James Henrikson, who had business dealings in North Dakota's oil patch with a man who was killed by an intruder in his Spokane home.>>
    BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) - The U.S. attorney's office plans to sell a home connected to a man who has been questioned in an alleged murder-for-hire scheme in Spokane, Washington, and is awaiting trial on weapons charges in North Dakota. The case centers on James Henrikson, who had business dealings in North Dakota's oil patch with a man who was killed by an intruder in his Spokane home.>>
  • National NewsMore>>

  • Battle rages in Gaza City

    Battle rages in Gaza City

    Sunday, July 20 2014 2:12 PM EDT2014-07-20 18:12:41 GMT
    GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip (AP) - It's the deadliest day yet of Israel's 3-day-old ground offensive in Gaza. Palestinian health officials say at least 65 people were killed as Israeli troops backed by tanks and warplanes battled Hamas militants in a crowded neighborhood of Gaza City.Thousands have fled the city and dozens of homes were damaged or destroyed. Palestinian health officials put the number of displaced at 35,000.>>
    GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip (AP) - It's the deadliest day yet of Israel's 3-day-old ground offensive in Gaza. Palestinian health officials say at least 65 people were killed as Israeli troops backed by tanks and warplanes battled Hamas militants in a crowded neighborhood of Gaza City.Thousands have fled the city and dozens of homes were damaged or destroyed. Palestinian health officials put the number of displaced at 35,000.>>
  • Feds: Man said he'd blow up London-to-LA plane

    Feds: Man said he'd blow up London-to-LA plane

    Thursday, July 17 2014 12:52 AM EDT2014-07-17 04:52:07 GMT
    LOS ANGELES (AP) - A federal criminal complaint says a passenger on a flight this week from London to Los Angeles threatened to kill flight attendants and blow up the plane.The FBI says 20-year-old Kevin Lee Mosele of Kihei, Hawaii, was charged Tuesday with interfering with a flight crew. He could get 20 years in federal prison if convicted.>>
    LOS ANGELES (AP) - A federal criminal complaint says a passenger on a flight this week from London to Los Angeles threatened to kill flight attendants and blow up the plane.The FBI says 20-year-old Kevin Lee Mosele of Kihei, Hawaii, was charged Tuesday with interfering with a flight crew. He could get 20 years in federal prison if convicted.>>
  • Las Vegas doctor will help girl attacked by pit bull

    Las Vegas doctor will help girl attacked by pit bull

    Monday, June 23 2014 8:58 PM EDT2014-06-24 00:58:54 GMT
    JACKSON, Miss. - A Las Vegas doctor deeply touched by the story of the little girl who was asked to leave KFC because of the scars on her face, has decided to pay it forward. Victoria Wilcher was the victim of a pit bull attack that left her with multiple scars all over her face and only one eye.>>
    JACKSON, Miss. - A Las Vegas doctor deeply touched by the story of the little girl who was asked to leave KFC because of the scars on her face, has decided to pay it forward. Victoria Wilcher was the victim of a pit bull attack that left her with multiple scars all over her face and only one eye.>>