Be aware: Live poultry can carry Salmonella

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It’s finally spring, Easter is April 16 and with that, many people might be thinking about buying chicks or ducklings as gifts or to replenish backyard poultry flocks. But in 2016, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control saw the largest number of Salmonella illnesses related to backyard poultry ever recorded by the agency. With that in mind, it’s a good time for a reminder about the precautions to take so you and your children don’t get sick from poultry carrying Salmonella bacteria.  Continue reading

They’re cute, but Easter chicks, ducklings, and even adult chickens can carry Salmonella

Chicks and ducklings in local farm supply stores are a sure sign of spring. It’s time to establish or replenish backyard flocks. It’s also just before Easter, when some people may be thinking about giving baby birds to children as gifts.

This cute little chick could harbor Salmonella bacteria. Make sure you wash your hands after touching it.

This cute little chick could harbor Salmonella bacteria. Make sure you wash your hands after touching it.

But it’s important to be aware that all poultry can transmit potentially harmful bacteria to people who touch them. Public health and agriculture officials encourage people to be aware of the risks of Salmonella infection before purchasing poultry, particularly for the very young, the old, and those with compromised immune systems.

“Owning chicks and ducklings can be fun, but we want to discourage impulse buying of these animals for Easter,” said Dr. Leslie Tengelsen, state public health veterinarian. “They grow into adults fairly quickly, and a long-term commitment to raising them needs to be in place. Those who raise backyard poultry should be knowledgeable about animal care and disease risks before venturing into that activity. Chickens and ducks can transfer potentially harmful bacteria, such as Salmonella, to anyone who handles them if precautions aren’t taken.”  Continue reading

Idaho health officials urge caution regarding recalled cucumbers: Idaho cases continue to be reported

Twenty-one Idaho residents with salmonellosis have been linked to the national cucumber outbreak, with public health officials concerned that people who are unaware of the outbreak could still become infected.

“We are concerned that not all Idahoans are aware of the recall and may have recently eaten or still have cucumbers involved with the outbreak in their homes,” said Dr. Christine Hahn, Idaho Public Health medical director. “If anyone has eaten cucumbers and suspects they may have Salmonella, they should seek medical attention immediately.”

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Idaho health officials warn of Salmonella illnesses linked by federal investigators to contaminated cucumbers

Eight Idaho residents with salmonellosis apparently were sickened by contaminated cucumbers, the Idaho Division of Public Health said Friday.

The affected Idahoans range in age from 2-82 and became ill between Aug. 3rd and Aug. 17th. One was hospitalized but has recovered. These cases appear to be part of a larger national outbreak linked to contaminated cucumbers being recalled. In addition, six other cases, not yet confirmed to be linked to the outbreak, are being investigated by Idaho public health districts. Since early July, 285 people in 27 states have been linked nationwide to this outbreak.

According to the California Department of Public Health, Andrew & Williamson Fresh Produce of San Diego has voluntarily recalled all cucumbers sold under the “Limited Edition” brand label from Aug. 1 through Sept. 3 because they may be contaminated with Salmonella. The type of cucumber is often referred to as a “slicer” or “American” cucumber and is dark green. They were distributed to Idaho, Utah, Montana, Oregon, Nevada, and several other states.  Continue reading