(JTA) – Salmonella in Empire Kosher chicken has led to one death and 17 illnesses, the Centers for Disease Control said. Eight people have been hospitalized. The outbreak of the food-borne infection in the leading kosher chicken seller has shown up in Maryland, New York, Pennsylvania and Virginia, according to a CDC notice Wednesday, August 29. The death occurred in New York. The CDC has not ordered a recall of Empire Kosher chicken.
Empire said in a statement posted on the homepage of its website that is “shocked and saddened to have just learned there may have been a death potentially related to a salmonella outbreak and we extend our sympathies to anyone affected.” The company noted that it has “no data that connects this tragic event to our products,” but that it is cooperating fully with the United States Department of Agriculture – Food Safety Inspection Service and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which are investigating the multi-state outbreak.
“CDC is not advising that people avoid eating kosher chicken or Empire Kosher brand chicken,” the statement noted. The CDC began investigating after the New York state Department of Health reported that several people who were sick said they had eaten kosher chicken. The illnesses began as early as September 2017; the most recent reported one was in June. The CDC notice said that “some kosher chicken products are contaminated with salmonella.”