One person has died and 16 others have fallen ill from Salmonella infections after eating chicken, the Centers for Disease Control announced yesterday. Further investigation linked the outbreak with kosher chicken products, especially the brand Empire Kosher.

The reported cases have affected four states so far, including New York, Pennsylvania, Virginia, and Maryland. Eight people have gone to the hospital and one New Yorker died from the infection. Out of the 17 people interviewed, all reported eating chicken products and seven mentioned Empire Kosher brand specifically. The raw chicken — sold both whole and as parts — was purchased between September 2017 and June 2018.

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Now safety officials from the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety Inspection Service (FSIS), CDC, and several state agencies are issuing a public health alert.

“FSIS is concerned that some product may be frozen and in consumers’ freezers,” reads a statement from last week. “Consumers who have purchased these products are urged to properly handle, prepare, and cook these raw chicken products.”

“The Empire brand takes food safety and the health of our consumers very seriously,” Empire Kosher added in its own statement. “Throughout our 80-year history, we have worked with relentless focus to ensure the quality and safety of our products and continue to do so.”

Here’s what else you need to know to stay safe:

What is salmonella?

Salmonella is type of bacteria that makes people sick. This illness, called salmonellosis, causes symptoms like diarrhea, fever, and abdominal cramps. It causes about 1.2 million illnesses, 23,000 hospitalizations, and 450 deaths in the U.S. every year, the CDC estimates. Most of these infections start with food, but you can also get it after coming in contact with reptiles, birds, or pet feces.

Does cooking chicken kill salmonella?

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Luckily, it’s easy to prevent the spread of salmonella by properly preparing and cooking food. Heating chicken to an internal temperature of at least 165 degrees Fahrenheit will kill harmful germs. Make sure you also wash your hands and food prep areas before and after cooking. The CDC does not recommend washing raw poultry and advises using a separate cutting board for raw meat if possible.

Those tips apply to this alert as well.”CDC is not advising that people avoid eating kosher chicken or Empire Kosher brand chicken,” the agency announced.”Always handle raw chicken carefully and cook it thoroughly to prevent food poisoning.”

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How long does it take for salmonella symptoms to show up?

If you’re worried you might have contracted Salmonella, you would likely notice some signs about 12 to 72 hours after exposure. Common symptoms include diarrhea, fever, and stomach cramps, and most people recover without treatment. The illness usually lasts between four to seven days.

Some people — especially children under the age of 5, adults over 65, and people with weakened immune systems — experience more severe symptoms and may require hospitalization and/or antibiotics. You can visit a doctor for clinical testing to confirm a Salmonella infection.

https://www.goodhousekeeping.com/health/a22874250/salmonella-kosher-chicken-outbreak/

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