October 24, 2016

Foster Farms Salmonella Lawsuit Filed on Behalf of Toddler With Brain Abscess

A lawsuit stemming from a 2013 Salmonella outbreak linked to Foster Farms chicken has been filed on behalf of a toddler whose Salmonella infection created a massive brain abscess.  To save his life, surgeons cut open his skull to remove the growing collection of infectious pus compressing his brain tissue. The fluid removed from the abscess matched one of the seven uncommon and antibiotic-resistant strains of Salmonella associated with the outbreak, according to the complaint filed by attorneys Fred Pritzker and Brendan Flaherty. The suit was filed December 21, 2015 in the United States District Court for the District of Arizona. Case number 2:15-cv-02587-DLR.  The child's story was featured on a Frontline investigation called The Trouble with Chicken, which traced the arc of Foster … [Read more...]

After Frontline Report, Reps. DeLauro and Slaughter Call, Again, For Better USDA Enforcement

A Frontline report that used the Foster Farms Salmonella outbreak to show how the USDA's lack of enforcement puts consumers at risk for severe illness, has prompted Congresswomen Rosa DeLauro (D-CT) and Louise Slaughter (D-NY) to reintroduce legislation that would require the USDA to recall any meat, poultry, or egg product contaminated by pathogens associated with serious illness or death or that are resistant to two or more critically important antibiotics for human medicine. The congresswomen first introduced the Pathogen Reduction and Testing Reform Act in 2013 when Foster Farms chicken was linked to a 29-state Salmonella outbreak that sickened 634 people with an especially virulent strain of antibiotic-resistant Salmonella Heidelberg. Among those who became ill, was … [Read more...]

After Frontline Report, Sen. Gillibrand Calls for USDA Mandatory Recall Authority

A Frontline report that used the Foster Farms Salmonella outbreak to show how the USDA's lack of enforcement puts consumers at risk for severe illness, has prompted Sen. Kristin Gillibrand (D-NY) to introduce the Meat and Poultry Recall Notification Act  which would provide the USDA mandatory recall authority over contaminated meat and poultry. In 2013, Foster Farms was linked to a 29-state Salmonella outbreak that sickened 634 people with an especially virulent strain of antibiotic-resistant Salmonella Heidelberg. Among those who became ill , was 18-month-old Noah Craten 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 which spotlighted the USDA’s lack of … [Read more...]

After Salmonella Outbreaks, Foster Farms CEO To Step Down

After 11 years that included two Salmonella outbreaks that sickened at least 768 people, Foster Farms CEO Ron Foster has announced plans to step down.  Foster, 56, will continue to be an owner and board member of the Livingston, Calif.-based company his grandparents founded 75 years ago. Foster will stay on as CEO until the company finds a successor. In a letter to employees, Foster said that during his tenure the company had experienced some of the most challenging and rewarding times and that he was confident Foster Farms was well-positioned for the future. The company has characterized the 17-month Salmonella outbreak, which ended in July 2014,  as transformational. The outbreak, which sickened 634 people in 29 states and Puerto Rico, spurred Foster Farms to adopt reforms that … [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...]

Foster Farms: We’ve Slashed Salmonella Rates

After being linked to two Salmonella outbreaks that have sickened more than 700 people, Foster Farms says it has slashed Salmonella rates on the chicken parts is produces to a fraction of the industry standard. The company made the announcement at its 75th anniversary celebration this week which was attended by U.S. Senator Dianne Feinstein D-Calif, U.S. Representatives Jim Costa D-Calif and David Valadao R-Calif, and California Department of Food and Agriculture Secretary Karen Ross. The company says it has invested $75 million to reduce Salmonella rates. Data on chicken parts from the most recent 10-week period, which the company says it shared with the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC),  show a Salmonella rate of 2 … [Read more...]

Salmonella on 60 Percent of Chicken Tested by USDA in 4th Quarter of 2013

Salmonella was present on about 60 percent of chicken tested by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) during the fourth quarter of 2013, according to a report by the agency. About 23 percent of turkey samples tested were positive for the bacteria, giving an average of 47 percent for all poultry tested from Oct.1 through Dec. 31. Results for Campylobacter testing were listed in the same report. That bacteria was found on about 10 percent of chicken tested and about 1 percent of turkey samples that were tested. Those numbers are not surprising considering other published data. A Consumer Reports  story found some kind of bacteria on 97 percent of chicken breasts it tested. The magazine found E. coli on 65.2 percent of samples, Campylobacter on 43 percent; and Salmonella on … [Read more...]

Foster Farms: We’re Making Progress In Salmonella Reduction

Foster Farms says that despite recent growth in a Salmonella outbreak linked to its chicken, the company has made steady progress in reducing levels of the bacteria at each stage of production. Yesterday, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) announced that with 50 new cases of salmonellosis reported since the last update on April 9, the 27-state outbreak, which began in March 2013, now includes 574 people. In response to the USDA's October 2013 threats to close the plants associated with the outbreak, Foster Farms says it has developed "a multiple-hurdle approach to reduce or eliminate Salmonella at each stage of production – from screening breeder flocks before entering the Foster Farms system, to enhancing procedures on the farms where the birds are raised, to adding … [Read more...]

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