A number of salmonella illnesses traced to Foster Farms chicken in Washington and Oregon last year prompted health officials in both states to issue a warning Thursday.
"While these outbreaks are unfortunate, they're also preventable if people take the proper steps when storing, handling and preparing raw poultry products," said Washington state Health Department spokesman Tim Church in a news release.
There were at least 56 cases in Washington -- including four in Snohomish County -- all linked to a specific strain of salmonella Heidelberg bacteria found on Foster Farms chicken. There were no deaths.
Salmonella's symptoms -- fever, stomach cramps and diarrhea -- can last four to seven days. The illness can be deadly in the young or old or other vulnerable people, Church said.
Foster Farms said safety and quality are its priorities, and there is no recall related to the salmonella announcement.
Consumers are urged to separate raw poultry from other foods in the shopping cart with plastic bags. Don't let drippings from chicken or packaging contaminate cutting boards or other surfaces in the kitchen. And, cook chicken to 165 degrees to kill the bacteria.
Camp Killoqua opportunities: Children are invited to get outdoors and make new friends at Camp Killoqua this spring.
Killoqua offers School Days Off Camp for students in kindergarten to sixth grade. Spring programs feature games, crafts, boating, songs, team-building, hikes and more on the camp's 185 acres.
Upcoming dates include 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday. Bus transportation is available from Everett and Mukilteo. For more information, call 425-258-5437 or www.campfiresnoco.org.
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