Seventeen people infected with the outbreak strain of Salmonella I 4,,12:i:- have been reported from four states.Eight people have been hospitalized, including one death reported from New York.
Epidemiologic and traceback evidence indicates that some kosher chicken products are contaminated with Salmonella I 4,,12:i:- and have made people sick.
In interviews, ill people reported eating kosher chicken, and when asked about the specific brand eaten, several people reported Empire Kosher brand.
The outbreak strain was also identified in samples of raw chicken collected from two facilities, including one facility that processes Empire Kosher brand chicken.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) and Empire Kosher Poultry, Inc. are issuing a public health alert out of an abundance of caution due to concerns about Salmonella illnesses reported in the northeastern and mid-Atlantic United States 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 I 4,,12:i:- 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 4 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 due to illness with illness onset dates ranging from September 2017 to June 2018.
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