Salmonella contamination may be linked to Pennsylvania-based poultry company

The USDA has issued a health alert for the top half of the Eastern seaboard after a potential salmonella contamination was discovered.

The raw chicken parts, linked to Pennsylvania-based Empire Kosher brand raw chicken parts, were produced and exported to consumers from September 2017 to June 2018.

Salmonellosis is the illness caused by consuming food contaminated by salmonella. Common symptoms are fever within 12 hours to three days, abdominal cramps and diarrhea, according to the Food Safety and Inspection Service. The sickness usually lasts between four and seven days.

While anyone can be sickened by salmonellosis, people with weak immune systems, infants and older adults are more prone to serious complications.

Thorough poultry washing and preparation can lower salmonella risk, noted the FSIS, which urged consumers to ensure their food has been cooked to a temperature of at least 165 degrees. Proper handling of meat and eggs can also reduce salmonellosis.

Those with questions about Empire Kosher products are asked to call (877) 627-2803.