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CDC: Stop kissing, cuddling poultry before you get salmonella

Photo by Dimas Ardian/Getty Images

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has taken a break from flip-flopping on mask guidance to issue a stern advisory warning Americans against snuggling and kissing their backyard poultry.

What are the details?

On Thursday, the CDC announced a salmonella advisory.

Updated guidance on the organization's website reads, "Don't kiss or snuggle backyard poultry, and don't eat or drink around them. This can spread Salmonella germs to your mouth and make you sick."

The CDC issued the Thursday investigation notice after 163 confirmed cases of salmonella were reported across 43 states and stated that children under the age of 5 years have made up one-third of recorded salmonella infections.

The CDC's advisory added, "Don't let children younger than 5 years touch chicks, ducklings, or other backyard poultry. Young children are more likely to get sick from germs like Salmonella."

Severe Salmonella infection symptoms include chronic diarrhea and a fever higher than 102 degrees Fahrenheit, bloody diarrhea, extreme vomiting, dehydration, and more.

Advice to backyard flock owners includes hand washing.

"Always wash your hands with soap and water immediately after touching backyard poultry, their eggs, or anything in the area where they live and roam," the advisory read. "Use hand sanitizer if soap and water are not readily available. Consider having hand sanitizer at your coop."

The guidance added, "Collect eggs often. Eggs that sit in the nest can become dirty or break. Throw away cracked eggs. Germs on the shell can more easily enter the egg though a cracked shell. Rub off dirt on eggs with fine sandpaper, a brush, or a cloth. Don't wash them because colder water can pull germs into the egg. Refrigerate eggs to keep them fresh and slow the growth of germs."

The CDC also recommended that home cooks prepare eggs to an internal temperature of 160 degrees Fahrenheit in order to kill salmonella germs.

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