Food Safety Magazine

News | January 16, 2014

Salmonella Outbreak in Tennessee Jail Linked to Tyson Comminuted Chicken

By Heidi Parsons

Salmonella Outbreak in Tennessee Jail Linked to Tyson Comminuted Chicken


Editor's Note: On Jan. 24, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) provided an update on its investigation into the Salmonella Heidelberg outbreak described below. The agency said it has found multidrug resistance in two of the samples isolated from inmates who were sickened by salmonellosis. The update does not indicate any increase in the number of people affected or in the severity of their illness.


The CDC announced Jan. 14 that it is collaborating with public health officials in Tennessee and the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (USDA-FSIS) to investigate an outbreak of Salmonella Heidelberg infections among nine inmates at a Tennessee correctional facility. Results from Tennessee’s investigation indicate that mechanically separated chicken produced by Tyson Foods, Inc. is the likely source of the outbreak at the jail.

Of the nine people reported to have fallen ill so far, two have been hospitalized. The CDC noted that although the strain of Salmonella Heidelberg involved in the Tennessee outbreak is commonly reported to CDC's PulseNet tracking system, the Tennessee incident is not related to the multistate outbreak of multidrug-resistant Salmonella Heidelberg infections linked to Foster Farms brand chicken.

Prior to CDC's announcement of the Tennessee outbreak, on Jan. 10, 2014, Tyson Foods, Inc. recalled approximately 33,840 pounds of mechanically separated chicken products that may be contaminated with Salmonella Heidelberg.