The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) and Empire Kosher Poultry, Inc. are issuing a public health alert due to concerns about Salmonella illnesses reported in the northeastern and mid-Atlantic United States. Those illnesses could be associated with raw chicken products from the Empire Kosher raw chicken brand.
On June 18 the FSIS was notified of multiple Salmonella illnesses and determined that there is a potential link between Empire Kosher brand raw chicken products and this illness cluster. Approximately half of affected case-patients have been hospitalized with illness onset dates ranging from September 2017 to June 2018.
Consumption of food contaminated with Salmonella can cause salmonellosis, one of the most common bacterial foodborne illnesses. The most common symptoms of salmonellosis are diarrhea, abdominal cramps, and fever within 12 to 72 hours after eating the contaminated product. The illness usually lasts 4 to 7 days. Most people recover without treatment.
FSIS is concerned that some product may be frozen and in consumers’ freezers. Consumers who have purchased these products are urged to properly handle, prepare, and cook these raw chicken products. FSIS advises all consumers to safely prepare their raw meat products, including fresh and frozen, and only consume chicken products that have been cooked to a temperature of 165 degrees Fahrenheit.