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WASHINGTON -- A salmonella outbreak linked to Foster Farms chicken has sickened 574 people in 27 states and Puerto Rico, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

There were 14 illnesses in Oregon and 17 in Washington state that were linked to the Foster Farms chicken. The outbreak, beginning March 1, 2013, includes seven strains of salmonella Heidelberg.

Timeline: Multistate salmonella outbreak

Epidemiologic, laboratory, and traceback investigations conducted by local, state, and federal officials indicate that consumption of Foster Farms brand chicken is the likely source of this outbreak, the CDC statement reads.

Most of the illnesses--about 77 percent--have been reported in California. No deaths have been reported, but about 37 percent of the people sickened have been hospitalized.

Symptoms of salmonella include diarrhea, fever, abdominal cramps and vomiting. The illness can last four to seven days.

Drinking plenty of fluids and getting extra rest can help alleviate the symptoms. But if you feel like you have salmonella poisoning and cannot drink enough fluids to prevent dehydration, call your doctor.

It is not unusual for raw poultry from any producer to have Salmonella bacteria. But the CDC recommends the following tips to prevent salmonella poisoning:

  • Avoid eating high-risk foods, including raw or lightly cooked eggs, undercooked ground beef or poultry, and unpasteurized milk
  • Keep food properly refrigerated before cooking.
  • Clean hands with soap and warm water before handling food. Clean surfaces before preparing food on them.
  • Separate cooked foods from ready-to-eat foods. Do not use utensils on cooked foods that were previously used on raw foods and do not place cooked foods on plates where raw foods once were unless it has been cleaned thoroughly.
  • Cook foods to a safe internal temperature. Use a meat thermometer to make sure foods are cooked to a safe temperature.
  • Chill foods promptly after serving and when transporting from one place to another.
  • Wash your hands after contact with animals, their food or treats, or their living environment.

Click for more advice to consumers from CDC.gov

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