The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has issued an update on the investigation into the multistate outbreak of antibiotic-resistant Salmonella Heidelberg infection linked to Foster Farms brand chicken.
CDC reports that the outbreak has now affected at least 524 people since March 2013. Cases have been reported in 25 states, although most (76%) are from California. An unusually high 37% of those infected in the outbreak have required hospital treatment and 13% have developed blood infections, although no deaths have been reported. The outbreak strain of S. Heidelberg is resistant to several commonly prescribed antibiotics.
Epidemiological evidence, laboratory test results and trace-back investigations all indicate that the outbreak is associated with Foster Farms brand raw chicken. CDC points out that the presence of Salmonella in raw poultry is not unusual and recommends that consumers follow advice on safe handling and cooking to avoid infection. No product recalls have been initiated.
More information about the outbreak investigation can be found here.