Lessons from the CDC’s pushback on chicken costumes reporting

News outlets said the agency asked owners of pet chickens not to dress them up for Halloween, citing salmonella fears. Its response offers takeaways on setting the record straight.

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When inaccurate reporting ruffled feathers at the CDC, the agency fired back.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has pushed back on news reports that it was telling chicken owners not to outfit their birds for Halloween. The reports had originally flagged the practice as dangerous due to a particular strain of salmonella and possible contamination.

ABC reported (in a story that has been updated for clarification):

When dressing a chicken, whether in a Halloween costume or a sweater, it is easier for a person to come into contact with harmful bacteria that live on poultry, including salmonella, health experts say.

The CDC is asking pet owners to use caution when handling their feathered friends due to a particular strain of salmonella.

At least 92 people in 29 states have been infected with a strain of multidrug-resistant salmonella after coming into contact with raw chicken products. No deaths have been reported, but 21 of the sick patients have been hospitalized.

Fortune also published the erroneous warning.

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