According to Dr. Rob Tauxe of the Center for Disease Control (CDC), regardless of the causes for the Salmonella Outbreaks from Fosters Farms chicken, the responsibility is that of the consumer. The outbreaks have so far sickened over 500 people since last year.
Dr. Robert Tauxe who is the CDC’s director of environmental, waterborne, and foodborne diseases says that “To a degree, it is up to the consumer when they are eating chicken from anyplace. We are not living in time where we can assume chicken is not tainted with something that could make us sick.”
It is believed even though there have been only 524 cases confirmed, that over 15,877 people across the United States have been made ill by Foster Farms poultry. 76% of the confirmed cases occurred in California. Highly contaminated raw chicken is very difficult to handle. A small amount of drippings from raw tainted meat could very easily sicken an entire family. In addition to this problem it’s been said Foster Farms slaughter facilities have an issue cockroach infestation. One of the main and largest Foster Farms plants in California has been shut down numerous times because health officials found the factory was infested with live cockroaches several times within the past five months.
Between March 1, 2013, and April 10, 2014 the confirmed cases have amounted to a total number of 524. As the CDC blames consumers for foster farms chicken salmonella outbreaks, the consumer seems to have little to no control over the causes. Salmonella symptoms include chills, vomiting, diarrhea, fever, cramps, and nausea for up to one week. To avoid illness food consumers need to cook any chicken purchased at a temperature of 165 degrees Fahrenheit. Using a meat thermometer helps to ensure you’ve cooked the chicken thoroughly.
Here are a list of cases by state: California 399, Arizona 24, Washington 17, Oregon 13, Texas 12, Nevada 10, Colorado 9, Idaho 5, Missouri 5, Michigan 4, Utah 4, Florida 4, Virginia 4, New Mexico 2, North Carolina 1, Alaska 1, Arkansas 1, Connecticut 1, Delaware 1, Hawaii 1, Illinois 1, Kentucky 1, Louisiana 1, Puerto Rico1, Tennessee 1, and Wisconsin 1.
When asked around 86% of patients say they ate the chicken at home before falling ill. 37% of people who were infected with salmonella had to be hospitalized because their strains of salmonella were resistant to antibiotics. It doesn’t matter if the CDC Foster Farms, the chicken, or the consumer for the continued outbreaks across the country, it is clear that some sort of meaning action should be taken by authorities.
Those affected by the outbreak ranged from under 1 year to 93 years of age. So far deaths have been linked to the outbreak.
In a press release Foster Farms noted that since October 2013 the company has developed and implemented a multiple-hurdle strategy to decrease and ultimately eliminate Salmonella in every stage of production. The say the strategy has resulted in a steady reduction in frequency of Salmonella occurrences and their goal in to get the numbers down to a frequency of less than 10.
Foster Farms has yet to recall any products stating that the company doesn’t have anything linking their meat to the illnesses in order to push a recall. The government is not issuing a recall either, instead telling people to simply “handle chicken safely.”
Health By Sarah Wright