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Salmonella Outreak Linked to Foster Farms Grows to 338 Cases

At least 338 in 20 states and Puerto Rico have been found to be ill with Salmonella in connection to an outbreak from chicken produced by Foster Farms, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. That number is up 21 illnesses from the last reported number of 317.

At least 40 percent of victims have been hospitalized, and 75 percent reside in California.

Foster Farms has not initiated a recall, instead opting to comply with U.S. Department of Agriculture requests to mitigate issues at three central California facilities tied to the outbreak.

Kroger Co. stores, which also include Fred Meyer, Fry’s, King Soopers and others, pulled implicated packages of Foster Farms chicken from their shelves earlier this month.

The products involved in the outbreak are identified by one of three USDA mark of inspection numbers: P6137, P6137A and P7632.

On Thursday, Costco stores expanded an earlier recall of rotisserie chickens from one stores in South San Francisco, Calif., in connection to the outbreak.

Persons infected with the outbreak strain of Salmonella Heidelberg, by State as of October 17, 2013

Persons infected with the outbreak strains of Salmonella Typhimurium, by date of illness onset as of October 17, 2013

© Food Safety News
  • Lawrence A. Oshanek

    Please, I really would like you to listen to this video …. it addresses some the issues of why salmonella has become so prevalent in our food.


  • Bill Riedel

    This outbreak illustrates the problem associated with full time, resident inspection – the inspection agency becomes part of the problem as they were involved in the food system failure. I experienced this first hand when I was the research bacteriologist of a large packing company – management played company scientists against the opinions of the resident inspectors and external consultants. Sadly the inspectors and consultants often did not have all the information. Similar problems can exist in vaccine regulation when the regulatory agency does batch release as I experienced later in my career. I would hate to suggest that we need a system of inspectors who inspect the inspectors; but, considering the evidence some form of external audit of resident inspectors appears indicated.

    It appears so easy even for regulatory agencies to become part of the problem, to wit:


    “The Public Health Agency of Canada estimates that each year roughly one in eight Canadians
    (or four million people) get sick due to domestically acquired food-borne
    diseases. This estimate provides the most accurate picture yet of which
    food-borne bacteria, viruses, and parasites (“pathogens”) are causing the most
    illnesses in Canada, as well as estimating the number of food-borne illnesses
    without a known cause. In general, Canada has a very safe food supply;”
    Dated: 2013-05-09

    •Question: What is the definition of ‘very safe’?

  • donna

    I was just so sick on Friday after eating chicken in my salad and just put it off to food poinsoning but didnt know about recall
    , and just went to costco and chicken is out everywhere. ?? How can they be sure all this chicken isn’t bad?

    • Seeram

      All food products on sales do have a batch number. When a consumer complaint about food poisoning, the batch number of the chicken consumed is identified and the whole batch is recalled for microbiological testing to test for the presence of potential microbiological hazards like Salmonella enteriditis. And if the presence of Salmonella enteriditis is confirmed, then the other batches of chicken which are considered as safe are seized and sent for microbiological testing to make sure that they are not contaminated with Salmonella enteriditis like the previous batch.
      It is through this recall system that they are able to know whether all chicken are contaminated or just one batch of it.

  • cb

    Umm, all chicken is full of salmonella and certified by USDA already. I believe all raw poultry in the market is designated as Not RTE (who would risk designating it as RTE?) and raw poultry needs to be fully cooked (165° Fahrenheit). NACMCF seems to have changed the cooking guidance for what fully cooked means for raw poultry… not sure what year…

    1) Are these illnesses due to the fact that they were not cooked “properly”? No warning on the label to fully cook?

  • John Halloran

    This also goes to show how critical government workers can be… even when considered “non-essential”… With the closure, the inspectors were still around (albeit without pay), but those who chart the data, etc were not. This can impact us as a society and we need to make our politicians understand this…

  • Seeram

    Nice video Lawrence. Thanks for sharing.