A salmonella outbreak in Foster Farms chicken has shown resistance to antibiotics, which the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention believe may explain the unusually high rate of hospitalization.
The Center found that the strains found in the outbreak are resistant to one or more drugs, and that 42% of those sickened have been hospitalized.
According to Caroline Smith DeWaal of the Center for Science in the Public Interest, the hospitalization rate is double the normal one.
Thus far, 287 illnesses have been reported in 18 states, with the majority of them in California.
The outbreak has apparently not discriminated in age, sickening infants and the elderly.
Foster Farms will not issue a recall on its products, noting that if the chicken is properly handled and cooked the strain will not infect consumers.
In a statement, the company wrote that it is “committed to ensuring the safety of our products”.
It also emphasized that it is a family-owned business and has maintained an excellent food safety record in its 80-year history.