Kuivikko vs. Kapowsin Meats Inc. is the first lawsuit filed against a Graham, WA, slaughterhouse for allegedly causing a Salmonella illness that may be resistant to antibiotics. The Seattle lawyer for Tara Kuivikko, a Thurston County resident who is one of 134 sickened in the current outbreak, says that as much as the defendant is responsible for his client’s illness, so, too, are federal regulators who do not consider Salmonella, even if resistant to antibiotics, an adulterant in meat. “Federal regulations are intended to keep the public safe,” says food safety attorney Bill Marler. “Without listing Salmonella as an adulterant under the FDCA (Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act), especially the antibiotic-resistant strains, the safety of consumers is compromised. Its exclusion is exceedingly irresponsible and entirely unacceptable.” (Marler Clark underwrites Food Safety News.) The Salmonella outbreak has so far sickened 134 Washington state residents. Whole hogs from Kapowsin Meats are said to be the source of the outbreak. Kuivikko consumed the pork on or about June 28, 2015, and became ill the following day, suffering from severe diarrhea, nausea, fever, and body aches. She sought medical treatment on July 5, and tests linked her illness to the outbreak. Kapowsin Meats recalled 116,262 pounds of whole hogs produced between April 18, 2015, and July 27, 2015, for possible Salmonella contamination. The bacteria cause a common foodborne illness, resulting in approximately 1.4 million cases of Salmonella infection each year.
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