Quantcast

USDA issues salmonella public health alert, nearly 300 illnesses reported in outbreak

With hundreds of people in 18 states having been sickened in a salmonella outbreak, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) issued a public health alert yesterday.

 The USDA recommends that all poultry be cooked to a safe minimum internal temperature of 165 °F, as measured with a food thermometer. Image/CDC

The USDA recommends that all poultry be cooked to a safe minimum internal temperature of 165 °F, as measured with a food thermometer.
Image/CDC

According to the food safety agency, the alert was issued due to concerns that illness caused by strains of Salmonella Heidelberg are associated with raw chicken products produced by Foster Farms at three facilities in California.

“This public health alert is being issued after an estimated 278 illnesses were recently reported in 18 states, predominantly in California.  The outbreak is continuing. The investigations indicate that consumption of Foster Farms brand chicken and other brand chicken produced at Foster Farms plants are the likely source of this outbreak of Salmonella Heidelberg infections. Illnesses were linked to Foster Farms brand chicken through epidemiologic, laboratory and traceback investigations conducted by local, state, and federal officials”, the FSIS said in a news release.

They go on to say they are unable to link the illnesses to a specific product and a specific production period. Raw products from the facilities in question bear one of the establishment numbers inside a USDA mark of inspection or elsewhere on the package– “P6137”, “P6137A” and “P7632”

The products were mainly distributed to retail outlets in California, Oregon and Washington State.

Foster Farms said in a statement that they are working in partnership with USDA Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) and Atlanta-based Centers for Disease Control (CDC) to reduce incidence of Salmonella Heidelberg on raw chicken products produced at three company facilities in Central California.

The company says that no recall has been initiated and that the chicken products are safe to eat if properly cooked.

The FSIS and Foster Farms remind consumers to properly cook chicken before eating:

“FSIS further reminds consumers of the critical importance of following package cooking instructions for frozen or fresh chicken products and general food safety guidelines when handling and preparing any raw meat or poultry…. All poultry products should be cooked to a safe minimum internal temperature of 165° F as determined by a food thermometer. Using a food thermometer is the only way to know that food has reached a high enough temperature to destroy foodborne bacteria.”

“Salmonella is naturally occurring in poultry and can be fully eradicated if raw product is properly handled and fully cooked,” said Dr. Robert O’Connor, the company’s food safety chief and head veterinarian.

Salmonella is an organism, which can cause serious and sometimes fatal infections in young children, frail or elderly people, and others with weakened immune systems. Healthy persons infected with Salmonella often experience fever, diarrhea (which may be bloody), nausea, vomiting and abdominal pain.

In rare circumstances, infection with Salmonella can result in the organism getting into the bloodstream and producing more severe illnesses such as arterial infections (i.e., infected aneurysms), endocarditis and arthritis.

For more infectious disease news and information, visit and “like” the Infectious Disease News Facebook page

Looking for a job in health care? Check here to see what’s available

 

About the Author

- Writer, Co-Founder and Executive Editor of The Global Dispatch. Robert has been covering news in the areas of health, world news and politics for a variety of online news sources. He is also the Editor-in-Chief of the website, Outbreak News Today and hosts the podcast, Outbreak News Interviews on iTunes, Stitcher and Spotify Robert is politically Independent and a born again Christian Follow @bactiman63

Tags
Displaying 1 Comments
Have Your Say
  1. Florida reports four salmonella cases linked to Foster Farms chicken - The Global Dispatch says:

    […] As of October 7, 2013, a total of 278 persons infected with seven outbreak strains  of Salmonella Heidelberg have been reported from 17 states, with the majority of cases being reported from California (77%), according to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention data. […]

Leave a comment

XHTML: You can use these html tags: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>



Categories

Archives

At the Movies