Health officials have urged consumers to cook chicken thoroughly and take other precautions after an 18-state salmonella outbreak that has made hundreds sick in recent months. A public health alert was issued for raw chicken packaged at three Foster Farms facilities in California after about 278 people fell ill from salmonella heidelberg, the U.S. Department of Agriculture said yesterday. The strains were associated with chicken distributed to retail outlets in California, Oregon and Washington state, but the salmonella has reached people from 18 states, the USDA said. The outbreak is the second this year to have been linked to Foster Farms. In March 134 people in 13 states became ill, but it appears to be a separate incident, Barbara Reynolds, from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention stated.
A Foster Farms spokesman said no recall was in effect and that the infections were caused by eating chicken that was undercooked or improperly handled.