If you’re cooking up some Empire Kosher chicken for dinner tonight, be sure to cook your poultry thoroughly. On Thursday (August 30), the USDA's Food Safety and Inspection Service issued a “public health alert out of an abundance of caution” regarding raw whole chicken and raw chicken parts sold by the Empire Kosher brand.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 17 people in Maryland, New York, Pennsylvania and Virginia have been reported sick after consuming kosher chicken infected with salmonella between September 2017 and June 2018. Of those 17 people, eight have been hospitalized and one has died.
So should you throw out your kosher chicken in your fridge or freezer? Not so fast. There has been no recall issued as of now.
According to the CDC, the outbreak strain was identified in samples of raw chicken from two different chicken processing facilities. That means if you cook your chicken properly and practice basic food safety, you can avoid salmonellosis (the infection caused by the salmonella bacteria).
Make sure to always cook your chicken parts and whole chickens to an internal temperature of 165 degrees. Not sure if your chicken is done? Use a food thermometer. You can also avoid cross-contamination by using a separate cutting board for raw chicken and other raw meats and being sure to wash hands, counters, cutting boards and cooking utensils thoroughly after using them to prepare raw chicken. Oh, and don’t wash your chicken.
Salmonella poisoning can cause diarrhea, fever and abdominal cramps that could last from four to seven days. Most people recover without medical treatment, but young children, the elderly and people with weakened immune systems may experience more severe reactions that could result in death. To find out what to do with that chicken now that you know how to prepare it safely, consider these 101 chicken recipes.