CDC Declares Drug-Resistant Salmonella Outbreak

CDC Declares Drug-Resistant Salmonella Outbreak

(Image source: NPR / Foster Farms) BY CHARESSE JAMES A multistate salmonella outbreak linked to
raw chicken involves several strains of the disease, including several antibiotic-resistant
strains, which have put 42 percent of victims in the hospital. “The agricultural department operating with
just 87 percent of the staff has issued a public health alert this week saying that
raw chicken products from three Foster Farms facilities in California are the likely source
of the outbreak.” (Via Fox News) “Now here are the three USDA codes to look
for on packages of Foster Farm chicken: p6137, p6137a and p7632. The USDA says the chicken
is safe to eat if handled properly.” (Via KTVU) “Seventy-seven percent of cases are in California.
… Most of the chicken was distributed through California, Oregon or Washington retail outlets.”
(Via Los Angeles Times) The outbreak has sickened nearly 280 people
in 17 states — a number that is expected to rise. The CDC is calling this a complex
outbreak involving seven separate strains of the bacteria. (Via News 12 Connecticut) The CDC team that tracks outbreaks has been
working with less than half its normal staff. Since, the agency has called back 30 furloughed
workers, 10 of whom work in the foodborne division. USDA inspectors and investigators
have stayed on the job during the government shutdown. (Via USA Today) “Many of the people who had gotten sick had
eaten chicken produced by one poultry producer, Foster Farms. … Three of the plants were
still producing chicken products that were contaminated with Salmonella Heidelberg, the
strains making people sick.” (Via NPR) With the outbreak-tracking team back at work,
the CDC has been able to provide more details. The rate of hospitalizations has doubled in
this latest outbreak and because of the antibiotic resistance, there is an increased risk for
“possible treatment failure” among infected individuals. Public health authorities were first made
aware of a salmonella contamination at Foster Farms in July and issued several warning letters
threatening to suspend the plants responsible. However, according to Politico, salmonella
isn’t considered a dangerous enough pathogen to be automatically recalled and is legally
allowed in raw products at certain levels. And as the number of illnesses increase and
with the shutdown ongoing, the government no longer has the authority to mandate a recall. A Foster Farms spokesperson says the outbreak
is due to eating chicken that was undercooked or improperly handled by consumers. (Via National
Journal) However, according to Mother Jones, Foster
Farms was found responsible for a 2012 salmonella outbreak, which sickened 134 people in 13
states. That outbreak involved a different strain of salmonella and stemmed from facilities
in Washington state. The Foster Farms plants in question are continuing
to process raw chicken. Consumers are being reminded to handle chicken properly and cook
the meat to an internal temperature of 165 degrees.

5 Replies to “CDC Declares Drug-Resistant Salmonella Outbreak”

  1. It could be a possibility that they didn't wash their hands or properly clean anything that got into contact with the chicken.

  2. Foster Farms has no right to make the claim that if people just cook their food thoroughly they wouldn't be infected with salmonella, that is just false. I ate 8 hot n spicy chicken wings that was allegedly pre fully cooked, I followed the heating directions as instructed and became violently ill anyway on October 1st. I am still very sick and it is the 24th. This is not about heating instructions, its about contamination and the inability to get rid of it through heating.

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