A U.S. Department of Agriculture health alert about an outbreak of Salmonella Heidelberg infection related to raw chicken products has prompted the Defense Commissary Agency to remind patrons to practice proper food safety procedures when handling raw meat, poultry and seafood.
“We want our customers to understand the measures they can use at home to prevent salmonella infection,” said Chris Wicker, a public health advisor at DeCA headquarters in Fort Lee, Va. “This means to clean your hands and preparation areas thoroughly; separate raw meat, poultry and seafood when transporting or preparing these items; cook poultry to an internal temperature of 165 degrees and measure with a food thermometer; and chill food promptly and properly after the meal is over.”
On Oct. 7, the USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service issued a public health alert after an estimated 278 salmonella illnesses were reported in 18 states, predominantly in California. DeCA officials are monitoring this situation and will issue a recall if it becomes necessary, Wicker said.
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