Oct. 17 (UPI) -- Nearly 100 people in 29 states have become sick from antibiotic-resistant salmonella linked to raw chicken, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said Wednesday.
The agency said that of the 92 sickened, 21 have been hospitalized. The illness has been linked to a variety of raw chicken products, "indicating it might be widespread in the chicken industry," the CDC said.
Despite the illnesses, health investigators have been unable to trace the outbreak to a single supplier. The CDC was investigating the source and officials at the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Food Safety and Inspection Service were monitoring the outbreak.
"Testing shows that the outbreak strain of salmonella is resistant to multiple antibiotics that may be used to treat people with severe salmonella infection," the CDC said.
Salmonella-contaminated food can cause diarrhea, abdominal cramps and fever within 12 hours to 72 hours and the illness usually lasts four to seven days. However, older people and infants with weakened immune systems are more likely to develop severe illness and some severe cases may require hospitalization.
The CDC recommended that consumers handle raw chicken carefully and cook it thoroughly to prevent infection. Food poisoning can be prevented through good hand washing and cleaning surfaces where raw chicken has been handled or prepared.