By Debbie Townsend
The state Department of Health is reminding people to carefully handle and cook chicken after an outbreak of Salmonella has been linked to Foster Farms plants in Washington and California.
Since June 2012, at least 56 people in Washington state have fallen ill due to a specific strain of Salmonella Heidelberg. Of those people, 15 were hospitalized. No deaths have been linked to the outbreak.
Though this outbreak was linked to a brand, Salmonella can be present in any brand sold. It’s important to handle chicken properly and to cook it thoroughly to avoid illness.
Here’s the related news release, which includes tips on how to handle chicken.
Within an hour of this post, the Foster Farms people sent me an email emphasizing their efforts on safety and quality, and they correctly noted there is no recall of the company’s chicken. I thought I was clear that proper handling and cooking can prevent illness; this is the same point Foster Farms makes.
Here’s the company’s statement to consumers in the Pacific Northwest.