LIVINGSTON, Calif. – Foster Farms released a statement proclaiming the safety of its chicken products following a report from the Atlanta-based Centers for Disease Control and Prevention indicating aSalmonellaHeidelberg outbreak linked to the company's chicken may not have ended.

CDC reported that, as of Feb. 28, a total of 481 people were infected with outbreak strains ofSalmonellaHeidelberg. Illnesses have been reported from 25 states and Puerto Rico, since March 1, according to CDC.

Foster Farms has maintained that its poultry products are safe if properly handled and fully cooked. In its most recent statement, the company said a “multifacetedSalmonellacontrol program” has reduced the prevalence ofSalmonellaon the company's chicken at the parts level to less than 10 percent. The US Department of Agriculture's measured industry benchmark is 25 percent, according to the company.

“We are on the right track, and have made outstanding progress," said Ron Foster, Foster Farms CEO. “Millions of consumers continue to enjoy Foster Farms poultry products each day, and we want to ensure that they have the safest, healthiest experience.”