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The CDC doesn’t want you to kiss your chickens

The CDC still advises people not to kiss their chickens

A chicken walks under the supervision of several dogs at a ranch in Vernal in 2021.
A chicken walks under the supervision of several dogs at Dale and Linda Batty’s ranch in Vernal on Wednesday, Feb. 10, 2021. Their farm, the Old Home Place, has been worked by their family for three generations. The CDC still advises people not to kiss their chickens.
Jeffrey D. Allred, Deseret News

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said it’s OK for vaccinated people to ditch their face masks. But the CDC still advises against kissing chickens if you do drop your mask.

“Don’t kiss or snuggle backyard poultry, and don’t eat or drink around them,” the CDC wrote in an advisory. “This can spread salmonella germs to your mouth and make you sick.”

What did the CDC say about chickens?

The CDC said backyard chickens may be linked to a recent salmonella outbreak. About 163 people were sickened with salmonella in 43 states, according to the CDC.

  • None of the infected people have died.
  • About one-third of those sickened by salmonella were children younger than 5 years old.

The CDC said the outbreak likely led to a number of cases of salmonella infection, which causes “diarrhea, fever and stomach cramps,” per NBC News.

  • People younger than 5 are more likely to experience severe symptoms, too, according to NBC News.

Why did the CDC release the salmonella note?

According to The Hill, the CDC released this information after receiving reports over the last year that backyard chickens led to a salmonella outbreak.

In fact, back in 2019, the CDC said people shouldn’t “kiss or snuggle” their chickens because of a similar outbreak, which I wrote about for the Deseret News.

At the time, the CDC also released a set of tips on how to stay safe.

  • Make sure you always wash your hands, using soap and water.
  • Keep backyard poultry outside of your home.
  • Change your shoes after taking care of chickens.
  • Do not consume any food or drink around the backyard chickens.
  • Don’t kiss or snuggle with your chicken.