Could your backyard flock make you sick?

USA - The CDC has been looking into recent outbreaks of Salmonella linked to poultry found in backyard flocks and offers some advice on staying safe
calendar icon 15 June 2018
clock icon 2 minute read

Poultry has been kept by families for several thousand years a means of accessing nutritious protein, but a seemlingly healthy chicken may make you sick without safe handling and proper care.

The CDC reports that between 2 February 2018 and 14 May 2018, 124 cases of Salmonella were reported across 36 states, which resulted in 21 hospital visits but, thankfully, no deaths. 31 percent of those who fell ill were children under five years of age.

Many of those who fell ill received their chicks or ducklings from different sources, including feed stores, websites and relatives. The CDC offers the following advice to help ensure you and your family can avoid getting sick:

  • Always wash hands thoroughly with soap and water right after touching live poultry or anything in their environment.
  • Don’t let children younger than 5 years handle or touch live poultry without adult supervision.
  • Set aside a pair of shoes to wear while taking care of your birds and keep those outside of your home.
  • Do not let live poultry inside the house, in bathrooms, or especially in areas where food or drink is prepared, served, or stored, such as kitchens or outdoor patios.

Ryan Johnson

Editor at The Poultry Site

Ryan worked in conservation from 2008 to 2017, during which time he operated a rainbow trout hatchery and helped to maintain public and protected green spaces in Canada for the Toronto and Region Conservation Authority. As editor of The Poultry Site, he now writes about challenges and opportunities in agriculture across the globe.

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