LIVINGSTON, Calif. – A salmonella outbreak linked to Foster Farms chicken isn’t over and has now infected 524 people in 25 states and Puerto Rico, federal health officials said.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported in January that the outbreak, which has been going on since March 2013, appeared to be over. But the agency said there was an uptick in illnesses in February.
It released the latest figures on Wednesday. Though no one has died, the CDC says the outbreak strains have been resistant to several commonly prescribed antibiotics, and 37 per cent of those infected have been hospitalized, a higher rate than normal. More than three-quarters of the 524 reported illnesses are from California, according to the CDC.
The outbreak led to a public health alert from the U.S. Department of Agriculture for raw chicken packaged at three Foster Farms facilities in California. The agency later said Foster Farms facilities in Fresno and Livingston had made substantive changes to their slaughter and processing and could stay open.
Foster Farms has said the infections were caused by eating chicken that was undercooked or improperly handled. The company has implemented a salmonella control program that has reduced the prevalence of salmonella to well below the USDA-measured industry benchmark, according to Foster Farms.
Symptoms of a salmonella infection include diarrhea, abdominal cramps and fever.