We've probably all been washing our hands a little extra this past year, but unfortunately not always when it's most necessary. That's according to an advisory this week from the Centers for Disease Control and Protection, who are pointing to one single source as the cause of a massive, nationwide outbreak of Salmonella. This is super important information going into the season of farmers markets and shopping for fresh groceries.
If you've been following us, you understand that food poisoning can come from some of the least expected foods (we're linking to a recent list of stories below). Now, just as we reported around Easter to enlighten families about the dangers of putting baby chicks or ducklings inside kids' Easter baskets (don't do it!), the CDC has published an advisory that a nationwide Salmonella outbreak has been linked to outdoor poultry.
The outdoor poultry Salmonella incidents have affected 163 people, with a reported 35 hospitalized as of this past Thursday. Those individuals live in the following U.S. states: Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia, Wisconsin, and Wyoming.
North Carolina had the highest incidence rate, with 13 individuals sick, with Iowa, Virginia, and California each having around 10. Important to note is that the CDC states: "These outbreaks may not be limited to the states listed [above]. This is because many people recover without medical care and are not tested for Salmonella."
To avoid getting Salmonella from outdoor poultry or their eggs, the CDC recommends individuals wash your hands (and ensure children do the same) after handling backyard poultry, their eggs, or spending time anywhere they live and roam. Among other recommendations (which you should view if you work with these animals), they also advise not to snuggle or nuzzle backyard poultry, however sweet they may be, and refrigerate their eggs immediately.
So be sure to pack that hand sanitizer in your farmers market tote this season! And for all consumers, no matter where you shop: If you purchase eggs and discover that one in the carton is cracked, the CDC says you should toss it immediately: "Germs on the shell can more easily enter the egg though a cracked shell." Also be sure to cook eggs and chicken thoroughly, and follow these two steps to sanitize your kitchen, from one of our Eat This, Not That! Medical Board Experts.
Get the Eat This, Not That! newsletter for the important stay-healthy tips you need. Also, don't miss important news ahead of the season:
- Doing This With Pasta May Actually Make It Deadly, Science Says
- Using This Appliance To Cook Beans Can Cause Food Poisoning, Says Science
- 1.6 Million Cases of Beans Are Being Recalled in These 22 States, FDA Says
- The 5 Most Alarming Grocery Store Food Poisoning Risks, Warns the FDA
- 15 Things You Should Only Buy at the Farmer's Market