An estimated 278 people in 18 states have been sickened in a salmonella outbreak linked to chicken produced in California, the U.S. Department of Agriculture announced Monday.
“The outbreak is continuing,” the USDA says in a public health alert naming three facilities operated by Foster Farms as the likely source of raw chicken contaminated with a strain of bacteria known as salmonella Heidelberg. Most of the chicken has been sold in California, Oregon and Washington, and most of the illnesses have occurred in California, USDA says.
But no recall has been announced and the agency’s Food Safety and Inspection Service “is unable to link the illnesses to a specific product and a specific production period,” the news release says. Consumers can identify products that came from the three plants by looking for these packaging codes: P6137; P6137A and P7632.
In its own press release, Foster Farms says it is working with USDA inspectors and the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to address the outbreak. The company’s food safety chief, Robert O’Connor, says the USDA inspection process has not been affected by the federal government shutdown.
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