Hundreds of Salmonella cases linked to backyard chickens — CDC

Lynette PayneJul 28, 2018

A multistate salmonella outbreak connected to backyard chickens is showing no signs of abating, according to an advisory issued Monday by the federal Centers for Disease Control. They should wash their hands before and after preparing and eating food, touching animals, and changing diapers.

The CDC reports six different strains of salmonella bacteria have been found in 44 states, including Florida and Georgia.

The CDC website said, "This outbreak is a reminder that raw turkey products can have germs that spread around food preparation areas and can make you sick".

There have been no complaints of illness reported to Mondelēz Global, the makers of Ritz crackers, to date in connection with these products. The illness typically lasts four to seven days.

Backyard Chicken Salmonella Outbreak 2018 Map

Confectionery giant Mondelez has recalled some products bearing its Ritz branding, fearing that the snacks may contain Salmonella. Since then, 34 people infected with the virus have been hospitalized, and no deaths have been reported.

So how do you avoid getting sick? Most people recover without treatment, but some experience worse symptoms and may need to be hospitalized. The CDC offers some advice to help you master a few best practices, as does the US Department of Agriculture on its Biosecurity for Birds page. They have advised people to always wash their hands thoroughly with soap and water after being near poultry, even if they haven't touched the birds, and to keep young children under 5 years of age from handling live birds.

A series of food recalls in the past week have been linked to contaminated whey powder, says Fred Jamieson, a food safety recall specialist with the Canadian Food Inspection Agency.

Salmonella is defined as a microorganism that can cause serious and sometimes fatal infections in young children, frail or elderly people, and others with weakened immune systems. The CDC is reminding feed stores and mail-order hatcheries that sell the animals to take steps to prevent salmonella in flocks.

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