Empire Kosher Chicken Linked to Deadly Salmonella Outbreak

On August 29, 2018, public health officials urged consumers “to check their freezers for Empire Kosher brand chicken.”

Sick Animals
Illustration from Nature’s Chicken by Nigel Burroughs

At least one person is dead and 16 others were sickened from ingesting a strain of Salmonella found during federal testing at two chicken plants relating to a notice by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) that victims reported “eating Empire Kosher brand chicken before becoming ill.” The CDC said the illness onset dates ranged from September 25, 2017 through June 4, 2018 in New York, Pennsylvania, Maryland, and Virginia.

Empire Kosher Poultry, the largest “kosher” chicken slaughter operation in the U.S., with headquarters, chick hatchery and slaughter plant in Mifflintown, PA, disclaims data linking the Salmonella outbreak to its products.

The CDC “is not advising that people avoid eating kosher chicken or Empire Kosher brand chicken and no products are being recalled,” said Empire Kosher, intoning the “thorough cooking” mantra. However, Empire Kosher customers “may prefer to discard the chicken to avoid the chance of infection,” public health officials advised.

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