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Salmonella outbreak linked to raw chicken product

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WASHINGTON — One person from New York has died in the salmonella outbreak linked to Empire Kosher brand chicken that has infected a total of 17 people across four states, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has reported.

USDA’s Food Safety & Inspection Service and Empire Kosher Poultry Inc. are issuing a public health alert due to concerns about the salmonella illnesses reported in the northeastern and mid-Atlantic U.S. that may be associated with raw chicken products.

The Empire Kosher brand raw chicken items, which may include raw whole chicken, raw chicken parts, were produced and sold to consumers from September 2017 to June 2018.

On June 18, 2018, FSIS was notified of multiple salmonella illnesses within the northeastern  and mid-Atlantic United States. Working in conjunction with public health partners, FSIS determined that there is a link between Empire Kosher brand raw chicken products and this illness cluster. Based on available epidemiological information, 17 case-patients have been identified in four northeastern and mid-Atlantic United States, many of whom reported consumption of Empire Kosher brand chicken products. Approximately half of affected case-patients have been hospitalized.

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 F.

Consumers and members of the media with questions can contact an Empire Kosher Specialist at 1-877-627-2803.

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