The USDA estimates that approximately 278 people in 18 states have been affected by Salmonella linked to contaminated chicken. Three Foster Farms have been linked to the contamination outbreak as the source of the raw chicken containing Salmonella Heidelberg. Most of the illnesses have occurred in California.
No official recall has yet been announced. The products originate from three plants with the following packaging codes: P6137; P6137A and P7632.
The symptoms of salmonella food poisoning include diarrhea, cramps and fever that typically start 8 to 72 hours after eating food with high levels of the bacteria. Some people also get chills, nausea and vomiting, lasting up to seven days, USDA says. The bacteria has a particular deadly effect on people with a compromised immune system, including infants and the elderly, and the public is reminded to cook any chicken to a temperature of at least 165 degrees and to take safety precautions when handling raw meat.
The CDC who is currently not yet involved in this particular outbreak linked a prior incidence of Salmonella contamination to Foster Farm in Oregon and Washington in 2012. That particular incident sickened 134 people in 13 states.