Get the latest from TODAY

Sign up for our newsletter
/ Source: TODAY
By Marguerite Ward

At least 17 people have fallen ill and one person has died due to a salmonella outbreak linked to kosher chicken, according to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention.

Several of those who were sickened reported eating chicken from the Empire Kosher brand. The CDC, however, isn’t suggesting people avoid purchasing Empire Kosher products. It also isn’t suggesting people avoid purchasing kosher chicken.

The CDC is investigating the outbreak and reports the states affected are Maryland, New York, Pennsylvania and Virginia. The death related to the outbreak was reported from New York. Illnesses related to the outbreak started from September 25, 2017 to June 4, 2018.

Image: Woman cutting chicken meet
When preparing raw chicken, make sure to wash your hands immediately before and after. Getty Images stock

In response, Empire Kosher shared a statement on their website:

"The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) and the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) have each issued a public health alert out of an abundance of caution due to concerns about Salmonella illnesses reported in the northeastern and mid-Atlantic United States that may be associated with raw chicken products. We have been cooperating fully with the USDA and the CDC on this matter ..."

"The CDC is not advising that consumers avoid eating Empire® brand chicken and no products have been recalled or withdrawn from the marketplace. As with any poultry, when handled and prepared properly, including thoroughly cooking as instructed, our products pose no risk to consumers."

Normally people get sick from salmonella between 12 to 72 hours after ingesting the germ. Symptoms include diarrhea, fever and stomach pain.

To avoid getting sick from salmonella, the CDC shared a few easy steps to follow: When handling raw chicken, be sure to wash your hands before and immediately after. Be careful not to spread germs from raw chicken around other parts of your kitchen. In addition, don’t rinse raw chicken as this can also spread possible germs.

Make sure the inside of the chicken reaches at least 165 degrees Fahrenheit by following cooking instructions and using a food thermometer (stick it in the thickest part of the food).

It's also important to note that you can get salmonella from other foods besides chicken, including eggs, sometimes packaged items, shellfish and other products.

If you live in these areas identified and have any questions, call your state health department. You can also call 1-877-627-2803 to speak with an Empire Kosher specialist.