Is it because Foster Farms was selling tainted chicken in pieces and Cargill was selling tainted ground beef and turkey? On Friday, CDC reported that a total of 317 individuals infected with multiple outbreak strains of Salmonella Heidelberg have been reported from 20 states and Puerto Rico linked to Foster Farms chicken. Most of those sickened (73 percent) are from California. The number of ill persons identified in each state is as follows: Alaska (2), Arkansas (1), Arizona (13), California (232), Colorado (4), Connecticut (1), Florida (4), Idaho (2), Kentucky (1), Michigan (2), Missouri (5), North Carolina (1), Nevada (9), New Mexico (2), Oregon (8), Puerto Rico (1), Texas (9), Utah (2), Virginia (2), Washington (15), and Wisconsin (1). In July 2013, CDC reported that a total of 134 individuals infected with an outbreak strain of Salmonella Heidelberg were reported from 13 states linked to Foster Farms chicken. The number of ill persons identified in each state with the outbreak strain was as follows: Alabama (1), Alaska (13), California (11), Hawaii (1), Idaho (2), Massachusetts (1), Montana (2), New York (1), Oregon (40), Utah (3), Virginia (1), Washington (57), and West Virginia (1). Although FSIS threatened Foster Farms with taking its inspectors and going home, that did not happen. FSIS has told Food Safety News that Foster Farms is working on the problem now. Apparently, letters one, two and three that FSIS sent to Foster Farms two days ago did the trick. I did a little searching on www.outbreakdatabase.com and found more than a few examples of meat recalls – chicken and beef – due to Salmonella contamination. 2012: Salmonella Enteriditis Due to Contaminated Cargill Ground Beef 40 sick – On July 22, 2012, Cargill Meat Solutions announced a recall of 29,339 pounds of fresh ground beef products due to possible contamination with Salmonella Enteriditis. Using epidemiologic and traceback data, public health investigators in eight states and CDC linked the infections to consumption of Cargill ground beef. 2011: Hannaford Hamburger Ground Beef 20 sick – On Dec. 16, Hannaford, a Scarborough, ME-based grocery chain, recalled fresh ground beef products that may have been contaminated with a strain of Salmonella Typhimurium. The recall resulted from an investigation into human illness. 2011: Cargill Meat Solutions Ground Turkey 136 sick – The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) issued a public health alert on July 29 due to concerns about illnesses caused by Salmonella Heidelberg that were associated with the use and consumption of ground turkey. 2009: Beef Packers, Inc., Cargill, Ground Beef 2 sick – In December, Beef Packers, Inc., owned by Cargill, recalled more than 20,000 pounds of ground beef contaminated with a drug-resistant strain of Salmonella Newport. The company issued an earlier recall in August 2009 due to contamination of ground beef. 2009: Beef Packers, Inc., Cargill, Ground Beef 68 sick – A Beef Packers, Inc., plant in California owned by Cargill distributed approximately 830,000 pounds of ground beef that was likely contaminated with Salmonella Newport. 2002: Emmpak/Cargill Ground Beef 47 sick – In early 2002, isolates of Salmonella Newport in New York State were found to be resistant to more than nine antibiotics and had a decreased susceptibility to the antibiotic ceftriaxone. It cannot be the numbers of those sickened. Frankly, Foster Farms in two outbreaks has sickened more than Cargill did in six. One form or another of antibiotic-resistant Salmonella caused all of the above outbreaks. Is it because it is ground vs. whole?