April 18, 2024

Foster Farms Chicken Salmonella Outbreak Grows to 524 Sick

The huge and long-lasting Foster Farms chicken Salmonella outbreak has now sickened at least 524 people in 25 states, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Using the multiplier of 30.3, that means that at least 15,877 people nationwide have been sickened by the poultry produced by Foster Farms.

Foster Farms Chicken Salmonella Outbreak 4.9.14

Most of the ill persons (76%) live in California. The outbreak case count by state is: Alaska (1), Arkansas (1), Arizona (24), California (399), Colorado (9), Connecticut (1), Delaware (1), Florida (4), Hawaii (1), Idaho (5), Illinois (1), Kentucky (1), Louisiana (1), Michigan (4), Missouri (5), North Carolina (1), Nevada (10), New Mexico (2), Oregon (13), Puerto Rico (1), Tennessee (1), Texas (12), Utah (4), Virginia (4), Washington (17), and Wisconsin (1). These patients are infected with seven outbreak strains of Salmonella Heidelberg. Thirty-seven percent of ill persons have been hospitalized because the strains are very virulent and are resistant to antibiotics.

Sadly, the government is still not issuing a recall, but instead chooses to warn people to “handle chicken safely.” The problem with that “advice” is that highly contaminated raw chicken is very difficult to handle “safely”. A tiny drop of juice from this contaminated meat could easily sicken an entire family. To give you an idea of the conditions under which these chickens were produced, just one of the problems at Foster Farms chicken slaughter facilities was cockroach infestation.

Among 518 people for whom information is available, illness onset dates range from March 1, 2013 to March 18, 2014. Yes, more than an entire year. Ill persons range in age from less than 1 year to 93 years, with a median age of 18 years. Fifty-one percent of all ill persons are male. Thirteen percent of patients have developed blood infections, or septicemia, as a result of their illness. This is almost three times the typical rate of blood infections as a complication of Salmonella infections.

In interviews, 86% of patients reported consuming chicken prepared at home before becoming ill. This proportion is significantly higher when compared with results from healthy persons. Among those who had brand information available, 119, or 74%, of the ill persons had consumed Foster Farms brand chicken or another brand likely produced by Foster Farms.

Of the 61 isolates collected from ill persons infected with any of the seven outbreak strains, 62% exhibited resistance to one or more antibiotics. Nineteen, or 31% of the 61 isolates were multi drug resistant. Those antibiotics include ampicillin, chloramphenicol, gentamicin, kanamycin, streptomycin, sulfisoxazole, and tetracycline.


  1. I bought this brand for the first time at Christmas of 2013. I bought it with a far enough advanced date and came home and put it into the freezer. I thawed it in the refrigerator the day before christmas and when I opened it. The stench was awful. I had to throw out about $20 worh of chicken. That was the first and last time I ever bought this brand. When I see it, in the meat case,
    I avoid it like the plague. It’s a good thing we had a back up of pasta on the table. so our Christmas dinner wouldn’t have been completely

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