According to a health alert issued Monday by the USDA, the cause of a salmonella outbreak has been linked to raw chicken.
Foster Farms raw chicken products made at three California sites may have sickened 278 people in 18 states.
This is the second outbreak, but a separate one, linked Foster Farms raw chicken. In July, 134 people were sickened by salmonella.
Due to limited staffing caused by the government shutdown, not much information was made able to be made available by the USDA or CDC, which are both government agencies.
The products have one of three establishment numbers inside a USDA mark of inspection or elsewhere on the package. The numbers are: P6137, P6137A and P7632.
Health officials warned that consumers should fully cook raw poultry to 165 degrees, which will kill the bacteria. Careful steps should be taken when handling raw chicken has well, to avoid cross contamination.
Other tips on handling and cooking chicken include:
Refrigerate raw chicken promptly. Never leave it on counter top at room temperature.
Freeze uncooked chicken if it is not to be used within 2 days.
Thaw chicken in the refrigerator — not on the countertop — or in cold water.
Wash hands, countertops, cutting boards, knives and other utensils used in preparing raw chicken with soapy water before they come in contact with other raw or cooked foods.
If chicken is stuffed, remove stuffing to a separate container before refrigerating.
Keep refrigerated until ready to cook. Do not place cooked chicken on same plate used to transport raw chicken.
Cook chicken well done. If using a meat thermometer, the internal temperature should reach 165ºF.
Marinade in which raw chicken has been soaking should never be used on cooked chicken.
Cooked, cut-up chicken is at its best refrigerated for no longer than 2 days — whole cooked chicken, an additional day.
If reheating, cover to retain moisture and to ensure that chicken is heated all the way through.
Transport cooked chicken, put it in an insulated container or ice chest until ready to eat. Keep below 40ºF or above 140ºF.