Salmonella outbreak affecting 300 in 18 states

The illnesses have spurred the Centers for Disease Control to recall about a dozen workers who were furloughed due to the federal government shutdown.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture's Food Safety and Inspection Service recently issued a public health alert about the strains of Salmonella Heidelberg associated with chicken products from Foster Farms at three California facilities. The illnesses are linked to a specific product and production period.

They bear establishment numbers inside a USDA mark of inspection or elsewhere on the package. Those numbers are P6137, P6137A and P7632.

They were mostly distributed in California, Oregon and Washington. Officials said the outbreak is continuing.

"All poultry products should be cooked to a safe minimum internal temperature of 165° F as determined by a food thermometer. Using a food thermometer is the only way to know that food has reached a high enough temperature to destroy foodborne bacteria," states the FSIS health alert.

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