March 24, 2018

Salmonella Lawyer Represents Child Sickened in Foster Farms Chicken Outbreak

Attorney Fred Pritzker of Pritzker Hageman is representing a child who required brain surgery after suffering from complications of a Salmonella infection. The strain of Salmonella Heidelberg that sickened the child has been linked to adulterated chicken produced by and sold by Foster Farms.

GavelsThe Center for Disease Control (CDC) has reported that as of December 19, 2013, the seven Salmonella Heidelberg strains linked to Foster Farms chicken have sickened 416 people in 23 states. The outbreak strains associated with Foster Farms products are resistant to several commonly prescribed antibiotics, a factor that may have contributed to the 40% rate of hospitalization, which is double the average hospitalization rate associated with typical Salmonella outbreaks.

Salmonella causes diarrhea, fever, vomiting, nausea, and severe abdominal cramping. While most individuals usually recover from Salmonella food poisoning within 4 to 7 days of initial onset,this illness may cause serious complications and even death. Salmonella complications include bacteremia, in which bacteria enter into the bloodstream, and reactive arthritis or Reiter’s Syndrome, which may cause severe joint pain. Long term complications can include irritable bowel syndrome and high blood pressure.

Despite the widespread reach of this outbreak, Foster Farms did not recall any of their products. While the Food Safety Inspection Service (FSIS) did threaten closure of Foster Farms facilities, Foster Farms remedied the unsanitary conditions that the letter cited, which included fecal matter on carcasses, poor sanitary dressing conditions, and unsanitary food contact surfaces, among others.

Pritzker argues that in order to prevent a tragedy like this again, there must be tighter regulation of the poultry companies and a faster response to outbreaks from government agencies. “The virulence of this particular outbreak was overwhelming,” Pritzker stated. “We cannot allow this to happen again.”

Fred Pritzker and the food safety lawsuit team of Pritzker Hageman have made a name for themselves representing individuals who have been gravely injured by contaminated food products. Fred recently won $4,500,000.00 on behalf of a young woman who suffered chronic kidney disease and hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS), a rare type of kidney failure, after consuming meat adulterated with E. coli. He has also collected over $6,425,000 dollars in damages for victims sickened in a Listeria food poisoning outbreak.


  1. I remember Foster Farms comment on this. To paraphrase them: Its your fault. You did not cook it to the proper temperature. If you had, you would not have been sickened.
    Apparently the FDA bought this argument, because there has been no action taken against them. I have thought about this a lot. They are right, technically. You should always use a food thermometer. But, getting the average house wife to use one is a fantasy.

    • Linda Larsen says:

      Most people do not use food thermometers. And the problem is that handling raw chicken that is SO contaminated is very difficult to do safely. One tiny slip and you’ll easily get sick. One DROP of raw juice is enough to sicken a family. Also remember that Costo recalled COOKED FF chickens that were cooked to 180 degrees F in a professional kitchen. That was not enough to kill those bacteria.

      • Very good point. Properly trained food workers could PROBABLY avoid that issue, but not the average person. I have never worked in a processing plant, but as a food safety instructor, and having studied that, it does not sound so hard if they are properly trained and their ”caring” is properly managed by management. They got what they deserved by not properly responding to the incident. And excellent point about one drop is enough!

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