CDC: Multistate salmonella outbreak linked to backyard chickens

Ritz crackers recalled due to possible Salmonella contamination

Ritz cracker products recalled in US after potential salmonella risk identified

There is now a multistate outbreak of salmonella infections linked to people touching backyard poultry, the CDC said on Monday.

The agency's statement stressed that no illnesses had been reported and that the recalls were initiated "out of an abundance of caution".

As of July 13, 2018, 212 cases of salmonella infections have been linked to contact with live poultry in backyard flocks, according to the agency.

Separately, a multistate outbreak of salmonella linked to Kellogg's Honey Smacks cereal has sickened 100 people in 33 states. The birds carry the bacteria on their feathers, on their feet and in their droppings.

So how do you avoid getting sick?

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Symptoms of salmonella infection include diarrhea, fever and/or abdominal cramps. The recalls were precautionary; at the time of the recalls no cases of Salmonella related to the snack products had been reported. Of these cases, 34 hospitalizations have occurred.

According to the CDC, there have been 70 Salmonella outbreaks linked to backyard poultry since 2000. But before committing to keeping chickens, Nichols suggested that people read up on how to care for the animals. The CDC offers some advice to help you master a few best practices, as does the US Department of Agriculture on its Biosecurity for Birds page.

Wash hands, kitchen work surfaces, and utensils with soap and water immediately after they have been in contact with raw meat or poultry. Also known as C. botulinum, the bacteria is behind botulism, a potentially fatal form of food poisoning.

If you have any of these products in your home, the company says you should discard them as soon as possible.

Children younger than 5 years and adults older than 65 years, and people with weakened immune systems are more likely to experience a severe illness. The CDC is, however, advising those who are cooking raw turkey to be sure they fully cook it and to thoroughly clean the cooking area and their hands after touching the raw meat.

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