Antibiotic-resistant salmonella outbreak includes Virginia — CDC

Deb Lindsey For The Washington Post via Getty Images Whole raw chicken

Deb Lindsey For The Washington Post via Getty Images Whole raw chicken

Four North Carolinians are among the 92 people in the USA who've now been confirmed to have salmonella after coming in contact with raw chicken, CDC officials said Wednesday.

The CDC identified the particular strain as salmonella infantis but said it had not yet linked the raw chicken products or live chickens to one lone supplier.

According to the CDC, as of October 17, 92 people have been reported sick from 29 states, including Florida, and 21 people have been hospitalized.

The outbreak strain was identified in live chickens and many types of raw chicken products, indicating it might be widespread in the chicken industry.

The CDC says 21 people have been hospitalized. The CDC continues to investigate the outbreak.

In July, a salmonella outbreak that infected 90 people across 26 states was connected to raw turkey products.

The CDC is urging consumers to cook chicken thoroughly and to wash your hands before and after you handle food. Don't wash chicken before you cook it, as doing so can spread germs to other surfaces.

Those infected by salmonella often develop diarrhea, fever and abdominal cramps 12 to 72 hours after eating contaminated food, and the illness usually lasts four to seven days, according to the health department.

The USDA Food Safety and Inspection Service advises that all raw chicken products, including chicken breasts, whole chickens, and ground poultry such as chicken burgers and chicken sausage, should always be cooked to an internal temperature of 165°F to kill harmful germs. If possible, use a separate cutting board for raw chicken and other raw meats.

Some people may like to feed their cats and dogs raw chicken, but the CDC recommends against it.

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