The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and public health and regulatory officials in several states are investigating a multistate outbreak of multidrug-resistant Salmonella infections linked to raw chicken products. The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (USDA-FSIS) is monitoring the outbreak.
Ninety-two people infected with the outbreak strain of Salmonella Infantis have been reported from 29 states. Illnesses started from January 19, 2018, to September 9, 2018. Ill people range in age from less than 1 year to 105, with a median age of 36. Sixty-nine percent of ill people are female. Of 62 people with information available, 21 (34%) have been hospitalized. No deaths have been reported.
Epidemiologic and laboratory evidence indicates that many types of raw chicken products from a variety of sources are contaminated with Salmonella Infantis and are making people sick. In interviews, ill people report eating different types and brands of chicken products purchased from many different locations. A single, common supplier of raw chicken products or of live chickens has not been identified.
The outbreak strain has been identified in samples taken from raw chicken pet food, raw chicken products, and live chickens. Antibiotic resistance testing conducted by CDC on Salmonella bacteria isolated from ill people shows that the outbreak strain is resistant to multiple antibiotics.
The outbreak strain of Salmonella Infantis is present in live chickens and in many types of raw chicken products, indicating it might be widespread in the chicken industry. CDC and USDA-FSIS have shared this information with representatives from the chicken industry and asked about steps that they may be taking to reduce Salmonella contamination.
CDC is not advising that consumers avoid eating properly cooked chicken, or that retailers stop selling raw chicken products.