Salmonella poisoning sickens 32 people in a dozen states - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Salmonella poisoning sickens 32 people in a dozen states

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WASHINGTON (AP)  - The government is urging consumers to thoroughly cook frozen chicken dinners after 32 people in 12 states were sickened with salmonella poisoning.

The health warning by the U.S. Department of Agriculture cited Milford Valley Farms Chicken Cordon Bleu and Chicken Kiev frozen dishes in which the chicken is raw, but breaded or pre-browned, giving the appearance of being cooked.  These products are sold at many different grocery store chains.

USDA said many of the people who became ill apparently did not follow the package's cooking instructions and microwaved the chicken dishes even though the instructions did not provide for it. Microwaving didn't heat the meals enough to kill the salmonella.

The department said consumers should cook chicken products to a minimum internal temperature of 165 degrees Fahrenheit.

USDA's Food Safety and Inspection Service issued the warning Friday after Minnesota health officials found a link between the chicken dinners with salmonella illnesses reported in Minnesota and 11 other states.

Investigators from the Minnesota Department of Health determined that 14 cases of salmonella infection since July were due to the same strain. The illnesses occurred in both children and adults; six of the patients were hospitalized but have since recovered.

Symptoms of salmonella poisoning include diarrhea, abdominal cramps and fever within eight to 72 hours. It can be life-threatening, especially to those with weak immune systems such as infants and the elderly.

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