NEW YORK (CNN) - We're learning new details about a widespread salmonella outbreak. It stretches across 18 states with nearly 300 people sickened.
Now officials say they might know why it's making so many people so sick, but you might be surprised to learn, there is no recall.
Salmonella is a common problem with uncooked chicken. On average, the CDC says, about one out of every 250 broiler chickens has the bacteria. But this recent strain, known as salmonella Heidelberg, seems to be made up of multiple antibiotic-resistant strains, making it harder to treat.
"So it's a new thing that we're able to track now, is the salmonella that's making people sick, is that bug gonna respond to the antibiotics you would use to treat it? And it's happened more, more often recently,” Patti Lovera of Food and Water Watch said.
According to the CDC, nearly half of the patients who have contracted the strain have been hospitalized, which is a high percentage. So, although no deaths have been reported from this bacterium, the strain packs a real punch and can make you very sick.
Complicating the investigation into this outbreak is the government shutdown. The CDC has furloughed many of its scientists who track food-borne pathogens some have since been brought back in, but there was a delay in the exchange of information about the outbreak.
The USDA says many of these packages could still be in consumer's freezers. If you have chicken from foster farms, look for these numbers on the package:
And believe it or not you don't have to throw it away! The USDA says you just need to prepare it properly making sure you cook it thoroughly to an internal temperature of 165 degrees, which should be checked with a food thermometer.