Time to check that freezer again! The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) announced that it is investigating a multistate outbreak of salmonella linked to one brand of kosher chicken. So far 17 people have been affected, eight have been hospitalized and, sadly, one has died. Yes, salmonella can be a deadly disease. Here’s everything you need to know.
The states affected
The CDC’s report states the 17 cases were reported in four different states: New York, Pennsylvania, Maryland and Virginia. The majority of the cases have been reported in New York, including the deceased.
What brand to avoid
All of those that have been infected have reported eating kosher chicken, and half of those reports specified the brand Empire Kosher. According to the CDC, the outbreak strain came from raw chicken at two different facilities. The U.S. Department of Agriculture Food Safety Inspection Service (USDA-FSIS), along with public health and regulatory officials, are also investigating this multistate outbreak. The USDA-FSIS collected samples of the chicken and was able to genetically connect the salmonella strain from these samples to the one in people affected by the outbreak.
Check your chicken
Reports of salmonella infection (coming from this chicken) actually began back in September 25, 2017. The reports have come in over the past year, and the CDC was finally able to make the connection. People could have easily purchased the infected chicken and frozen it for later, which is why the CDC has seen reports over a longer period of time.
Is your chicken from Empire Kosher? Here’s what to do
If you’re nervous about using your stash of Empire Kosher chicken, but aren’t sure when you purchased it, it’s safest to throw away the chicken or talk to the store to ask for a refund.
When it comes to avoiding salmonella in the future, prevent cross-contamination among your kitchen tools (including your kitchen towels, which can also harbor E. coli). Make sure to always work with clean hands, and to avoid these mistakes you might make with raw chicken.