January 13th, 2014
06:00 AM ET
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Tyson Foods has announced a recall of nearly 34,000 pounds of chicken on fears of salmonella contamination.

The United State Department of Agriculture's Food Safety and Inspection Service was notified of a Salmonella Heidelberg cluster of illnesses on December 12, 2013. Together with the Tennessee Department of Health, the FSIS discovered a link between mechanically separated chicken products from Tyson Foods, and an outbreak of illness in a Tennessee correctional facility. Seven people were sickened, and of those cases, two were hospitalized.

The mechanically separated chicken at the center of the recall was produced on October 11, and sold in 40-pound cases containing four 10-pound chubs. The products were not available for retail sale to restaurants or consumers, and were shipped for institutional use only, nationwide.

Consumers with questions about the recall should contact Tyson Foods’ consumer relations department at 866-886-8456. More information is available on Tyson's website.

About 48 million people contract some form of food poisoning each year, according to the CDC, and salmonella is the leading cause of foodborne illness. Salmonella causes an estimated 1.3 million illnesses each year in the United States. In December, the FSIS announced that it hopes to tackle that toll with the help of a new "Salmonella Action Plan."

The ten-point strategy outlines the steps the agency will take to address issues in meat and poultry production, which it considers "the most pressing problem it faces."

Foodborne illness prevention

The United States Department of Agriculture's Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) provides these recommendations for preventing Salmonellosis

– The only way to be sure the meat or poultry is cooked to a high enough temperature to kill harmful bacteria is to use a thermometer to measure the internal temperature. For ground meat, the temperature is 160°F and for non-ground poultry 165°F.

– Wash hands with warm soapy water for 20 seconds before and after handling food and after using the bathroom, changing diapers, and handling pets.

– Wash utensils, cutting boards, dishes, and countertops with hot soapy water after preparing each food item and before you go on to the next item.

– Consider using paper towels to clean kitchen surfaces. If you use cloth towels, wash them often in the hot cycle of your washing machine.

Fast facts on salmonella

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that people in a normal state of health who ingest Salmonella-tainted food may experience diarrhea, fever and abdominal cramps, which typically begin within 12 to 72 hours. This may be accompanied by vomiting, chills, headache and muscle pains. These symptoms may last about four to seven days, and then go away without specific treatment, but left unchecked, Salmonella infection may spread to the bloodstream and beyond and may cause death if the person is not treated promptly with antibiotics.

Children, the elderly, and people with compromised immune symptoms should practice extreme caution, as salmonellosis may lead to severe illness or even death.

Who is looking out for your food safety?
A brief history of chicken washing
Salmonella outbreak linked to tainted chicken
Food poisoning: What you need to know

More on food poisoning from CNN Health and all foodborne illness coverage on Eatocracy

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soundoff (136 Responses)
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    June 5, 2014 at 6:35 am |
  2. YoonYoungJo

    Omg inmates getting sick? Everyone knows this is all the inmates fault for eating the chicken in the first place. They should have just eaten everything else and not the chicken. Those inmates are so dumb. And what are the inmates even complaining about? It's all free food on the tax payers bill. There are so many other free things the inmates could have eaten instead of the chicken. That is a joke of course. It's actually good to see the US does consider, even inmates have some rights.

    February 9, 2014 at 1:50 pm |
  3. whacker

    Makes me rethink if i want to eat Tyson as much.

    January 14, 2014 at 3:20 pm |
  4. Sbaker

    Prison food is the worse than the food that is served at homeless shelters. It can literally kill you over a period of a few years, by making you prone to diabetes, high blood pressure and obesity. The food is virtually all carbohydrates. You might get some protein a few days a months and that's it. Most of the stuff given is enough to throw your stomach into a spin, if not puke. Even the prison officials wouldn't dare touch that food. Its stuff that can give you enormous amounts of gas. You are out of luck, if you fall sick, because no one will give you any medical attention, till you literally collapse and don't regain consciousness. Most probably they'll kick you around and if you as much as bat an eye, you will be kept on the floor till you pass out. This is American prisons, I'm talking about. I'd dare any prison official to eat that food that they serve inmates. Inmates are the like new Jews in this Nazi corporation of America. If you think you are exempt, then you are wrong. There is a very huge chance you will go to jail, because the cops have found a new source of income, incarceration for the purpose of profit. That is to imprison people for almost any excuse they can find under the sun. Most people who are at the wrong time in the wrong place, will be arrested, even if they haven't done anything wrong. You think you can get out. Wrong again !!! The new culture is you are guilty unless presumed innocent. Yeah and you will be eating that prison food for some time, till you decide to take a deal, for which you will be paying out your income, for the rest of your life, because now you have been tagged. For those who have no compassion on inmates, here is a staggering figure, there are many innocent people in jail and the next one might just be you or someone you love. Prisoners are humans just like us. Most of them have been abused their life. Nobody chooses crime for fun. Most of them are there because of poverty. A lot of them are indigent or are mentally handicapped. Quite a number of them are ex-vets. There are many children in prisons. Yes Children. They are the abused class. They have no rights and no representation. Most of them are the victims of societies greed that have pushed them to lead a life of crime, to survive. We have created them. We are responsible. It is very un-christian to talk against prisoners. Because they spend more time with God than the rest of us. Among the first words that Jesus spoke were ' He came to set the prisoners free'. So for those who pass nasty words for prisoners and wish terrible things to them, 'Be careful' about what you say, should you share their same plight and the sentence that you pass on them.

    January 13, 2014 at 7:44 pm |
    • Jdizzle McHammerpants

      Preach on, brotha!


      January 13, 2014 at 7:54 pm |
      • WISCONSINknows

        TRUE STORY: there once was a man accused & sent to prison for a crime (rape) and then one day they found out he REALLY was innocent. He was let out, he was apologized to....multiple times.

        And then, he went back home, to his salvage yard and he, along with his nephew held captive a sales rep. They tortured her, raped her – over and over. And then killed her......then they burned her body.

        Turns out he really wasn't so innocent after all. Turns out the cops were watching him for the first crime (in which he was truly innocent) because he had been in trouble before. He had assaulted women before. There were complaints against him. Numerous other problems. He WAS NO INNOCENT.

        People may get put into jail and wrongly accused. But I don't believe they were innocent to begin with. There's history there. The cops are looking at these people for a reason! If you don't want to get into to trouble then stay out of trouble.

        February 10, 2014 at 1:57 am |
    • Shipwrecked

      Wow, what a BS sing song. Poor inmates have it so hard with all that "bad" food they get.

      Stop whining and don't think your lies are believable. Your reasoning why most of the inmates are in there, due to poverty, is the worst crap anybody ever heard. Get off the air and go to work.

      February 9, 2014 at 1:02 pm |
  5. mayhem4u

    What would Sheriff Joe Arpaio do? Feed them the chicken and STILL make them wear pink underwear!!! If they don't like the treatment.........as Sheriff Joe says..........DON'T COME BACK!!!!

    January 13, 2014 at 4:14 pm |
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