Salmonella case at Portales hatchery considered closed

By Christina Calloway

PNT senior writer

A New Mexico Department of Health official labeled a nationwide salmonella outbreak connected to a Portales hatchery in August a “case closed.”

The department’s Public Information Officer David Morgan said Privett Hatchery, which supplies baby chicks and other live baby poultry, has corrected the issues that linked a strain of salmonella that infected more than 300 people in 37 states to a duck pen at its hatchery.

“The hatchery has taken the steps necessary to make sure it doesn’t happen again,” Morgan said.

No additional salmonella cases were reported in the state as of Wednesday, according to Morgan.

Morgan said the hatchery cleaned the coups where the tainted ducks were held..

Attempts to reach the owner of the hatchery Thursday night were unsuccessful but the hatchery said in a statement on its website that its “top priority is providing safe, healthy poultry to our customers.”

In addition to cleaning the coups, the hatchery decontaminated all eggs before entry to its hatchery and removed from sale the poultry from the pen where the positive environmental sample was taken, according to the state’s health department.

The hatchery also has provided information on its website reminding consumers about the safe handling of poultry.

The hatchery was allowed to remain open after being linked to the outbreak.

A Center for Disease Control official said it’s normal to find salmonella in poultry and that the CDC often focuses on education so people understand the risks and steps to care for poultry.

The national salmonella outbreak was one of two that originated from a Portales business within a year.

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