ATLANTA – A multistate outbreak of Salmonella Heidelberg infections linked to chicken appears to be over, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports. A total of 134 persons infected with the outbreak strain of Salmonella Heidelberg were reported from 13 states; 31 percent of ill persons were hospitalized, and no deaths were reported. Most of the ill persons were reported from two states, Oregon (40) and Washington (57).
Collaborative investigative efforts of local, state and federal public health and regulatory agencies indicated that Foster Farms brand chicken was the most likely source of this outbreak. Testing conducted by the Washington State Public Health Laboratories identified the outbreak strain of Salmonella Heidelberg in four intact samples of chicken collected from three ill persons’ homes in Washington, which were traced back to two Foster Farms slaughter establishments.
The US Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) completed an investigation to determine the source of infections in this outbreak. As part of this investigation, FSIS sent an incident investigation team to one Foster Farms slaughter establishment. The results of the investigation are being finalized.