Foster Farms Salmonella Outbreak
Though it was believed that the huge salmonella outbreak that had been linked to three Foster Farms chicken plants in California was over, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released a statement this week, reporting that at least 51 new cases of Salmonella Heidelberg had been discovered and linked to the plants between mid-January and late February. Of those new cases, 44 were reported in California.
This discovery raised concern at the CDC that they may have jumped the gun a little when they released a report on Jan. 16, declaring that the outbreak was over.
The outbreak was first discovered last October, when the U.S. Department of Agriculture issued a health alert warning consumers of the salmonella outbreak, which had been connected to the processing facilities, all of which are located in Central California. When the latest cases are included, a total of 481 people nationwide have been sickened during the outbreak so far, with patients ranging in age, from infants to people in their 90s.
Despite these numbers, and several setbacks at the plants, Foster Farms has never issued a recall. Inspectors with the USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) threatened to suspend operations at all three plants at one point, when they noted poor sanitary conditions that could have contributed to the outbreak. At one point, Foster Farms issued a public apology, changed its safety practices and vowed to regain consumers’ trust. But then it had to close its main Livingston plant for 10 days back in January 2014 due to a cockroach infestation.
Salmonella is a bacteria commonly found in poultry. Because it’s so common, and can be killed through thorough cooking, government regulators allow a small amount of the contaminant. Concern continues to grow, however, since recent strains of the disease are becoming more resistant to antibiotics.
In most people, salmonella will simply lead to a belly ache and a few days of discomfort. However, in some cases, salmonella infections can cause diarrhea, vomiting, body aches, fever, and abdominal cramps for several days or even weeks. People with a salmonella infection sometimes suffer from severe dehydration, as well as reactive arthritis, which leads to joint swelling. In some extreme cases, salmonella contamination can cause urinary tract infections, kidney problems, or even typhoid fever. The infection tends to be worse for young children, the elderly and those with weak immune systems.
The Texas Food Poisoning Lawyers at Hill Law Firm have the knowledge and experience to know exactly how to get even the largest food producers to sit up and take notice when we present your case to them. If you or a loved one has been sickened by salmonella contamination or any other type of food poisoning, please contact the Texas Food Poisoning Injury Lawyers at Hill Law Firm immediately to protect your legal rights.