October 25, 2016

What do Foster Farms and Blue Bell Have in Common?

Chicken and ice cream don't have much in common. But the food poisoning outbreaks linked Foster Farms chicken and Blue Bell ice cream do. In 2013, Foster Farms was linked to a 29-state Salmonella outbreak that sickened 634 people with an especially virulent strain of Salmonella Heidelberg. Among those who became ill , was Noah Craten, an 18-month-old whose Salmonella infection created abscesses in his brain. To save his life, surgeons had to cut open his skull and remove them. Noah's story was featured in the Frontline report, The Trouble with Chicken, which traced the arc of Foster Farms decade-long Salmonella problem, spotlighted the USDA's lack of enforcement ability and begged the question who is accountable when food makes people sick. "Companies that make and … [Read more...]

Raw Cashew Cheese Sickened 17 with Salmonella in 2014

Raw Cashew Cheese produced by The Cultured Kitchen of California was the source of a Salmonella outbreak that sickened 17 people in three states in 2014. Cashew cheese is a non-dairy product made from raw cashew nuts. The Cultured Kitchen recalled all six varieties of raw cashew cheese with an expiration date of April 19, 2014 or earlier on December 31, 2013. The patient case count by state was: California (15), Nevada (1), and Wyoming (1). Twenty percent of ill persons were hospitalized; no deaths were reported. Illness onset dates ranged from November 13, 2013 to January 3, 2014. Patients ranged in age from 2 years to 83 years. This product does have a long shelf-life and can be frozen, so if you have it in your home, do not eat it. Freezing will not destroy Salmonella bacteria. … [Read more...]

CSPI Petitions USDA to Declare Antibiotic-Resistant Bacteria Adulterants

The Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI) is petitioning the USDA to declared four antibiotic-resistant strains of Salmonella bacteria adulterants under federal law. The petition was filed on October 1, 2014.  The petition is a refiling of one filed in May 2011 which was denied by the USDA. One reason the USDA gave for the denial is that "ordinary cooking is sufficient to kill Salmonella", even though cross-contamination is one way the bacteria contaminates food in the home. This new petition provides the agency with more evidence as support. As evidence, CSPI gave USDA recipes from the New York Times, Food Network, Epicurious, and other sources for pork, lamb, and chicken with cooking times indicative of rare or medium-rare temperatures. CSPI has documented 19 outbreaks … [Read more...]

Reuters Confirms Antibiotic Misuse on Factory Poultry Farms

Food & Water Watch, which has been working against the sub therapeutic use of antibiotics on factory farms, states that Reuters released a report stating that those uses are continuing. Industry data is usually kept private, even from the FDA. Use of antibiotics in this way is linked to the explosive growth of antibiotic-resistant bacteria. The report, titled Farmaceuticals, showed that the nation's largest poultry farmers feed chickens antibiotics routinely. And some of those antibiotics are medically important to human beings. Five major companies - Tyson Foods, Pilgrim's Pride, Perdue Farms, George's, and Koch Foods were the focus of the investigation. More than 300 documents by poultry producers over the last two years were reviewed. These "feed tickets" come from the mills … [Read more...]

Foster Farms: Outbreak Spurred Us to Become Industry Leader in Salmonella Control

Foster Farms says being linked to a 17-month Salmonella outbreak that sickened 634 people in 29 states spurred it to adopt reforms that has made it an industry leader in control of the bacteria.  Of the seven strains of Salmonella Heidelberg associated with the outbreak, which began in March 2013 and ended yesterday, four were antibiotic resistant resulting in outbreak hospitalization rates that were double the average and rates of severe blood infections that were triple the average. In a statement on its website, published in response to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's (CDC's) announcement of the outbreak's end, Foster Farms said the agency has affirmed the company's progress in reducing Salmonella on raw poultry parts from 25 percent to less than five … [Read more...]

Foster Farm Salmonella Heidelberg Outbreak Appears Over

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has stated that the Salmonella Heidelberg outbreak linked to Foster Farms chicken appears to be over. This outbreak sickened at least 634 people in 29 states and Puerto Rico from March 1, 2013 to July 11, 2014. Since the last update on July 4, 2014, 13 more people were reported ill in California (10) and Illinois (3). Epidemiological and traceback investigations indicate that Foster Farms brand chicken was the source of this massive outbreak.   The final case count by state is:  Alabama (1), Alaska (1), Arkansas (1), Arizona (25), California (490), Colorado (9), Connecticut (1), Delaware (1), Florida (4), Georgia (1), Hawaii (1), Idaho (5), Illinois (4), Kentucky (1), Louisiana (1), Michigan (4), Missouri (5), Montana (1), … [Read more...]

Consumers Advocates Try to Stop Filthy Chicken Rule

Representatives from consumer advocate organizations met with staff from the White House Office of Management and Budget (OMB) yesterday to express their opposition to the poultry privatization rule that is close to being approved. The rule removes government inspectors from poultry slaughter lines, increases line speeds, and places company employees in inspection positions. Wenonah Hauter, executive director of Food & Water Watch said in a statement, "we expect the White House to jam this rule through quickly. Given the failure of the Obama Administration to implement policies to protect farmers from big meat packers, we suspect they are preparing to give another huge gift to the meat industry - the ability to police themselves when it comes to food safety." The industry should … [Read more...]

Foster Farms Salmonella Chicken Recall Updated

The recall of Foster Farms chicken products for Salmonella contaminated has been updated to "clarify and correct" the use or freeze by and best by date ranges. The government is also adding an updated product list. At the same time, the USDA says the recall is not expanded. These products are associated with a huge Salmonella outbreak that has sickened at least 621 people in the U.S. The recalled product is fresh and frozen chicken sold under Foster Farms or private label brand names with "use or freeze by" dates ranging from March 16 through March 31, 2014, and August 29, 2015 through September 2, 2015. Also recalled are frozen Sunland Chicken products with "best by" dates from March 7 through March 11, 2014 and August 29 2015 through September 2, 2015. Consumers will only be able … [Read more...]

Retail List for Foster Farms Salmonella Chicken Includes Military Bases

The USDA has released the retail distribution list for Foster Farms chicken products recalled for Salmonella contamination. The release states that "This list may not include all retail locations that have received the recalled product or may include retail locations that did not actually receive the recalled product. Therefore, it is important that you use the product specific identification information" available at the USDA web site. The stores with wide distribution that most likely sold the product include Costco stores in Arizona, California, Colorado, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, Utah, and Washington state; Food 4 Less in California and Nevada, and Food Max, Food Source, and Foodsco stores in California. Also, Fred Meyer stores in Alaska, Idaho, Oregon, and Washington … [Read more...]

Salmonella Outbreak Has Congresswomen Crying Foul on USDA

Congresswomen Rosa DeLauro (D-CT) and Louise Slaughter (D-NY) are crying foul over recent developments in the Foster Farms Salmonella outbreak and calling for the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) to halt operations at all of the company's processing plants until the outbreak ends. The Congressmen say Foster Farms should not be continuing to put chicken that makes people sick on grocery store shelves, that the USDA hasn't done enough to protect public health, and that the agency's handling of recent developments in the outbreak were "shameful." Some time after 8:00 p.m. (CST) on July 3, the USDA announced Foster Farms had issued a voluntary recall for boneless, skinless chicken products produced in March because one illness had been linked to the product. The recall is the only one … [Read more...]

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