Top 5 Takeaways

  1. Identification of the Outbreak: On January 14, 2022, two inmates at a Nebraska correctional facility were diagnosed with Salmonella Enteritidis, prompting an investigation that linked the outbreak to consumption of mechanically separated chicken.
  2. Extent of the Outbreak: Approximately 100 inmates exhibited symptoms, with 15 cases (5 confirmed and 10 probable) directly linked to eating chili made from the implicated chicken product.
  3. Investigation Findings: The investigation revealed food safety issues, such as incomplete thawing and insufficient cooking temperatures for the chicken, contributing to the outbreak.
  4. Prevention and Recommendations: Recommendations to the facility included policies to prevent ill workers from handling food, ensuring proper thawing and cooking of chicken, and implementing a preventive food safety management system.
  5. Public Health Implications: The outbreak highlights the higher prevalence of Salmonella in mechanically separated chicken and underscores the need for stringent food safety practices in institutional settings.

Original Article Author and Citation

Corresponding Author

Sadie J. Oppegard,

Suggested Citation

“Oppegard SJ, Bethke AR, Davy BA, Johnson AE, Daniel JL, Holmes SE. Notes from the Field: Outbreak of Salmonella Enteritidis at a Correctional Facility Using Mechanically Separated Chicken — Nebraska, 2022. MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep 2022;71:908–909. DOI: .


This report details an investigation into an outbreak of Salmonella Enteritidis at a correctional facility in Nebraska, traced back to the consumption of mechanically separated chicken. Approximately 100 inmates developed gastrointestinal symptoms, with 15 cases officially linked to the outbreak. The investigation highlighted significant food safety lapses, including issues with the thawing and cooking of the chicken.


The investigation included interviews with ill inmates, collection of food handling records, environmental assessments, and laboratory testing of food samples. It defined confirmed and probable cases based on clinical and laboratory evidence, leading to the identification of the source of the outbreak.


The report discusses the public health implications of the outbreak, emphasizing the higher Salmonella prevalence in mechanically separated chicken products. It also critiques the inadequate cooking processes and suggests improvements in food safety practices within correctional facilities to prevent future outbreaks.


The outbreak underscores the importance of rigorous food safety protocols, especially in settings like correctional facilities where populations are vulnerable. Recommendations were made to improve food handling and processing to mitigate future risks of foodborne illnesses.

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