For Three Foster Farms Facilities
U.S. Department of Agriculture's (USDA) Food Safety and Inspection Service
(FSIS) issued a public health alert TODAY due to concerns that illness caused
by strains of Salmonella Heidelberg are associated with raw chicken
products produced by Foster Farms at three facilities in California.
At this point in the investigation, FSIS is unable to link the illnesses to a
specific product and a specific production period. Raw products from the
facilities in question bear one of the establishment numbers inside a USDA mark
of inspection or elsewhere on the package:
products were mainly distributed to retail outlets in California, Oregon and
public health alert is being issued after an estimated 278 illnesses were
recently reported in 18 states, predominantly in California. The outbreak is
The investigations indicate that consumption of Foster Farms brand
chicken and other brand chicken produced at Foster Farms plants are the likely
source of this outbreak of Salmonella Heidelberg infections. Illnesses
were linked to Foster Farms brand chicken through epidemiologic, laboratory and
traceback investigations conducted by local, state, and federal officials.
investigation is ongoing and FSIS is prepared to take additional actions or
expand the investigation based on new evidence.
reminds consumers to properly handle raw poultry in a manner to prevent
contamination from spreading to other foods and food contact surfaces.
further reminds consumers of the critical importance of following package
cooking instructions for frozen or fresh chicken products and general food
safety guidelines when handling and preparing any raw meat or poultry. In
particular, while cooking instructions may give a specific number of minutes of
cooking for each side of the product in order to attain 165 °F internal
temperature, consumers should be aware that actual time may vary depending on
the cooking method (broiling, frying, or grilling) and the temperature of the
product (chilled versus frozen) so it is important that the final temperature
of 165 °F must be reached for safety. Please do not rely on the cooking time
for each side of the product, but use a food thermometer.
All poultry products should be cooked to a safe minimum internal temperature of
165° F as determined by a food thermometer. Using a food thermometer is the
only way to know that food has reached a high enough temperature to destroy
Consumption of food contaminated with Salmonella can cause
salmonellosis, one of the most common bacterial foodborne illnesses. Salmonella
infections can be life-threatening, especially to those with weak immune
systems, such as infants, the elderly and persons with HIV infection or
undergoing chemotherapy. The most common symptoms of salmonellosis are
diarrhea, abdominal cramps, and fever within eight to 72 hours. Additional
symptoms may be chills, headache, nausea and vomiting that can last up to seven
Consumers with food safety questions can "Ask Karen," the FSIS
virtual representative available 24 hours a day at AskKaren.gov.
The toll-free USDA Meat and Poultry Hotline 1-888-MPHotline (1-888-674-6854) is
available in English and Spanish and can be reached from l0 a.m. to 4 p.m.
(Eastern Time) Monday through Friday. Recorded food safety messages are
available 24 hours a day.
Labels: California Chicken Alert, Public Health Alert for Foster Farms Facilities, Salmonella in Chicken, Salomonella in California, USDA Health Alert for Salmonella