“The latest outbreak is a stark example of this dynamic. Foster Farms’ official statement asks consumers to see their tainted chicken as a learning experience: “The alert that regulators issued based on illnesses over the past seven months emphasizes the need to fully cook and properly handle raw poultry.”
Nation Of Change – “As an especially vicious salmonella outbreak sickens hundreds across the country, U.S. Department of Agriculture regulators have declined to crack down on the poultry processing plants that spread the pathogen. On Monday, the USDA threatened to close the California-based Foster Farms facilities, but decided to keep the plant open under scrutiny on Thursday night after Foster Farms submitted a plan for “immediate substantive changes to their slaughter and processing to allow for continued operations.”
The outbreak has sickened at least 300 people in 17 states, and 42 percent of the victims have been hospitalized — twice the normal hospitalization rate for salmonella. Yet neither state nor federal regulators have issued a recall order, stating the chicken is safe iffully cooked.
Industry publication Meating place interviewed Daniel Engeljohn, a USDA Food Safety and Inspection Service official, about the decision to keep the infected meat on the shelves. Engeljohn pointed to a federal court decision in 2001 that crippled the USDA’s ability to take meaningful action against meat processors that violate food safety standards. The notoriously conservative Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that the USDA did not have the authority to shut down Supreme Beef, a meat processing plant that repeatedly flunked tests for salmonella contamination. The justification for this ruling was that the meat was safe if it was cooked properly. Thanks to this decision, the USDA has only the power to ask the company at fault to recall their products voluntarily.” Full Story
Chicken products blamed for salmonella outbreak still on store shelves
Published on Oct 11, 2013
Consumers are confused about why Foster Farms chicken is still for sale when it made more than 270 people sick. But the USDA doesn t require recalls for salmonella, because it is widely found where chickens are raised.