Monday, October 14, 2013

Wash your chicken: More than 300 salmonella cases linked to Foster Farms plants

Since Tuesday, the federal Centers for Disease Control has reported 317 cases of salmonella outbreak traced to Foster Farms with at least one case in 20 states and Puerto Rico and 232 cases in California, where the poultry was processed, Lynne Terry reports for The Oregonian. The number could be higher, but the CDC has furloughed 70 percent of its workers due to the government shutdown, and daily updates have not been available. Despite tests showing chickens in one plant had a 25 percent incidence rate of salmonella, more than double the 10 percent rate allowed, the U.S. Dept. of Agriculture, as of Friday, had not required a recall of the product. (Photo by Terry: Stores posted a notice from Foster Farms about the outbreak next to packages of raw poultry) The Oregonian initially reported on the outbreak on Oct. 7, then again on Oct. 8 when 280 cases were reported.

It's not the first time the plants in Fresno and Livingston have had poor tests. Between January and September inspectors found "poor sanitary dressing practices, insanitary food contact surfaces, insanitary nonfood contact surfaces and direct product contamination," Terry reports. 

More than 40 percent of people stricken with Salmonella have been hospitalized, which is about double the usual rate, Terry writes. "The strains of Salmonella heidelberg implicated in the outbreak are resistant to commonly prescribed antibiotics." Michael Hansen, senior scientist at Consumer Reports, told Terry, "We’re fundamentally outraged that the USDA is not requiring a recall. This isn’t regular Salmonella. It's resistant to multiple antibiotics." (Read more) (Food Safety News graphic: Reported salmonella cases linked to Foster Farms) 

1 comment:

cwheeler said...

Did you know the USDA does NOT recommend washing chicken, beef, pork, veal, etc?