Federal health officials say they have concluded their investigation into a deadly 11-month Salmonella outbreak associated with chicken from Empire Kosher.

Twenty-five people from six states were confirmed infected and one person died, according to the Dec. 7 outbreak from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Ill people ranged in age from less than one year to 76 years old. The patients’ illness onset dates range from Sept. 25, 2017, through Aug. 13, 2018. The outbreak strain of Salmonella I 4,[5],12:i:- was particularly virulent, with half of the patients requiring hospitalization.

“In interviews, ill people reported eating kosher chicken, and when asked about the specific brand eaten, several people reported Empire Kosher brand. The outbreak strain was also identified in samples of raw chicken collected from two facilities, including one facility that processes Empire Kosher brand chicken,” the CDC reported.

“Of 20 people interviewed, 100 percent reported eating chicken products. Of 12 people who reported brand information, 10 reported specifically eating Empire Kosher brand chicken.”

Federal officials had been investigating the outbreak since at least mid-June, when the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the CDC first alerted the public on Aug. 24 and 29, respectively. 

The Empire Kosher brand raw chicken items, “which may include raw whole chicken, raw chicken parts” the USDA reported in August, were produced and sold to consumers from September 2017 to June 2018. The August notice said the USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service was notified June 18 of multiple Salmonella I 4,[5],12:i:- illnesses in the northeastern and mid-Atlantic United States. 

“Working in conjunction with public health partners, FSIS determined that there is a link between Empire Kosher brand raw chicken products and this illness cluster,” the Food Safety and Inspection Service said in its Aug. 24 public warning.

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