An outbreak of salmonella infections linked to chicken salad has sickened 65 people in five states, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported Thursday. No deaths have been reported, but 28 people have been hospitalized.
Diarrhea, fever and abdominal cramps are the symptoms of salmonella poisoning. Signs of illness usually occur within 12 to 72 hours and last for four to seven days in most cases.
An investigation by the CDC and the US Department of Agriculture linked the outbreak to chicken salad produced by Triple T Specialty Meats Inc. in January and February and sold at Fareway grocery stores in Illinois, Iowa, Minnesota, Nebraska and South Dakota. Most of the sick people are in Iowa.
Triple T Specialty Meats has recalled all chicken salad sold at Fareway stores between January 4 and February 9.
If consumers purchased chicken salad from Fareway but don't remember the date, they should not eat it, the CDC says. Either throw it away or return it to the store.
Even if some of the chicken salad was eaten or served with no ill effects, the CDC advises throwing the rest away in a sealed bag so children or animals cannot eat it. Wash and sanitize countertops, refrigerators or freezers -- wherever the salad was stored.
Because foods from animals may be contaminated with salmonella, never eat raw or undercooked eggs, poultry or meat, the CDC says.
Most people recover from a salmonella infection without treatment. However, for some, the diarrhea may be so severe that hospitalization is necessary. In rare cases, an infection can lead to death unless a patient receives prompt treatment with antibiotics.