The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in the US is launching an investigation after 124 cases of salmonella poisoning reported in 12 states, were linked to raw chicken produced by US producer, Foster Farms. The salmonella strain is a specific one; Salmonella Heidelberg.
The majority of the cases, reported between June 4, 2012 and January 6, 2013, occurred in Washington state and Oregon. There have been 31 hospitalisations but no deaths have been reported.
Foster Farms, who is not recalling any products, released a statement in response to the cases saying, "It is widely known that all raw chicken must be responsibly handled and properly prepared to ensure safety and quality." Foster Farms also stated that safety and quality were priorities. The company says consumers should cook raw chicken to 165 degrees and avoid preparing other food on surfaces touched by raw chicken to prevent cross-contamination.
The CDC and the USDA are working with health officials to identify the source of the contamination.