USDA demands action in salmonella outbreak

WASHINGTON (CNN, ABC) - The U.S. Department of Agriculture is demanding action from the poultry company at the center of a salmonella outbreak that's stretched into Arkansas.

California-based Foster Farms is being blamed for the salmonella heidelberg outbreak. The USDA is demanding the company respond by Thursday with how to fix the problem.

They said the company has had multiple sanitation regulation violations.

Foster Farms chicken has sickened more than 278 people in 18 states.

"This is one of those outbreaks they're worried about," said Dr. Richard Besser, ABC News' chief health and medical editor. "The reason is, the number of people hospitalized by the salmonella is higher than they expect and that many of the strains are resistant to antibiotics."

Foster Farms has not issued a recall. Instead. they said the chicken in question is safe if cooked to an internal temperature of 165 degrees.