More than 20 San Diegans have fallen ill with Salmonella poisoning as the result of contaminated Foster Farms chicken products. The tainted chickens were processed at three California facilities owned by Foster Farms, but may not say Foster Farms on the packaging – other brands include Ralphs, Safeway, O Organics, Eating Right and Kirkland, according to San Diego’s 10News Report

According to Ron Foster, President and CEO, of Foster Farms, the company is taking the necessary steps to ensure safety. Foster provided the following information from the company in a press release – Foster Farms Food Safety Update

Salmonella poisoning – which leads to an infection known as Salmonellosis – affects more than 40,000 people in the U.S. each year. Since milder cases are often not reported, it may impact many more.

Young children, the elderly, and those with weakened immune systems are most at risk for Salmonella, with approximately 600 people dying every year from acute salmonellosis.

Salmonella symptoms typically show up 72 hours after infection, lasting up to a week. The majority of victims recover without treatment.  Symptoms may include: diarrhea, fever and abdominal cramps. DC Salmonellosis Report

If a case is severe, the victim may need to be hospitalized. In such instances, the Salmonella infection may spread from the intestines through the blood stream – which may cause death unless the victim is treated promptly with antibiotics.

This recent salmonella outbreak involves several antibiotic-resistant strains of the disease and has put a large percentage of victims in the hospital, according to the CDC. CDC Report on Multidrug-Resistant Salmonella

For more information about how to prevent Salmonella poisoning, visit  about.com / salmonella poisoning

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