Proper kitchen safety steps are always a good idea when working with raw chicken - but maybe even more so as the Center for Disease Control and Prevention is warning customers nationwide about an outbreak of multi-drug resistant samonella infections; the cases are being linked back to raw chicken.

At this point there isn't a specific brand name or supplier linked to the cases - which now number 92, spread across 29 different states.  According to the CDC, post-treatment interviews show a link between those individuals as having consumed different chicken products that were purchased at a variety of different locations.

To help proactively battle an anticipated outbreak, the CDC is reminding consumers about proper kitchen safety techniques in regards to handling raw chicken:

  • Wash your hands
  • Cook raw chicken thoroughly to kill harmful germs. Chicken breasts, whole chickens, and ground poultry, including chicken burgers and chicken sausage, should always be cooked to an internal temperature of 165 F to kill harmful germs. Leftovers should be reheated to 165 F.
  • Don’t spread germs from raw chicken around food preparation areas. Washing raw poultry before cooking is not recommended. Germs in raw chicken can spread to other foods and kitchen surfaces. Thoroughly wash hands, counters, cutting boards, and utensils with warm, soapy water after they touch raw chicken. Use a separate cutting board for raw chicken and other raw meats if possible.
  • CDC does not recommend feeding raw diets to pets. Germs like Salmonella in raw pet food can make your pets sick. Your family also can get sick by handling the raw food or by taking care of your pet.

Symptoms of salmonella include:

  • Diarrhea
  • Stomach cramps
  • Fever

Most symptoms occur within 12 to 72 hours of exposure.  Symptoms usually last 4 to 7 days and most people recover without needing treatment.  However, if symptoms become severe, patients should seek immediate medical treatment.  In rare cases, salmonella can cause death.