(KFVS) - The Illinois Department of Public Health is reporting five cases of multi-drug resistant Salmonella infantis illness.
This is part of a multi-state outbreak of 92 cases in 29 states, including Missouri and Kentucky. It is being investigated by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
According to the IDPH, nearly 90 percent of cases report preparing or eating chicken products that were bought raw, including ground chicken, chicken pieces and whole chicken.
Most people affected by Salmonella develop diarrhea, fever and abdominal cramps 12-72 hours after eating food contaminated by the bacteria. The illness usually lasts four-seven days and most people recover without treatment. However, some people may need to be hospitalized.
The CDC indicated there have been more hospitalizations with this outbreak that what is typically seen.
The elderly, infants and those with compromised immune systems are more likely to have a severe illness.
According to the IDPH, the outbreak strain was identified in live chickens and many types of raw chicken products, indicating it might be widespread in the chicken industry. The CDC continues to investigate the outbreak.
When handling raw chicken, the department of health recommends following these steps to help prevent Salmonella:
- Wash your hands before and after preparing or eating food, after contact with animals and after using the restroom or changing diapers.
- Cook raw chicken thoroughly to kill harmful germs. It should be cooked to an internal temperature of 165 degrees. Leftovers should be reheated to 165 degrees. Use a food thermometer to check and place it in the thickest part of the food
- Don’t spread germs from raw chicken around food preparation areas. Don’t wash raw poultry before cooking; germs can splash around your kitchen. Thoroughly wash hands, counters, cutting boards and utensils with warm, soapy water after they touch raw chicken. Use a separate cutting board for raw chicken and other raw meats if possible
- CDC does not recommend feeding raw diets to pets. Germs like Salmonella in raw pet food can make your pets sick. Your family can also get sick by handling the raw food or cleaning up after your pet.