A number of Salmonella illnesses have been traced to Foster farms chicken products, prompting health officials in Oregon and Washington to remind consumers to handle raw chicken properly in the kitchen. There is no recall associated with this health alert, reports the San Francisco Chronicle.

According to the health departments in those two states, there were 43 cases in Oregon and 56 in Washington last year that were linked to a specific strain of Salmonella Heidelberg bacteria found on Foster Farms chicken from farms in Washington and California.

"The 2012 salmonellosis outbreak is a wakeup call," said Dr. Paul Cieslak of the Oregon Public Health Division. "While these outbreaks are unfortunate, they're also preventable if people take the proper steps when storing, handling and preparing raw poultry products.”

Foster Farms said in a statement that safety and quality are its priorities.

"Since 2005, testing results for salmonella from the U.S. Department of Agriculture-Food Safety and Inspection Service in the Pacific Northwest have consistently been well below the limits set for raw poultry. This indicates that our Pacific Northwest facilities maintained consistent process control for salmonella," the company said.

Source: San Francisco Chronicle, Associated Press