Salmonella Outbreak During Government Shutdown
No recall has been issued for the chicken, which has been tainted with traces of Salmonella Heidelberg. Foster Farms claims that the chicken should be fine as long as it's cooked to the proper temperature (165 degrees). If you don't, however, you will probably spend the next week vomiting, with abdominal cramps, diarrhea, fevers, and an overall feeling of wanting to die.
The FSIS and the Centers for Disease Control are working together to manage and monitor the outbreak as well as possible; however, the government shutdown has hindered the agency's ability to operate.
Before the shutdown, a CDC staffer told Wired's Maryn McKenna:
I know that we will not be conducting multi-state outbreak investigations. States may continue to find outbreaks, but we won't be doing the cross-state consultation and laboratory work to link outbreaks that might cross state borders.
Meaning the lab work that links cases and determines the severity of the outbreak is not being conducted.
This is the second time this year that the company, Foster Farms, has been linked to an outbreak. According to the CDC, in July, 134 people across 13 states were reported ill from bacteria found in the company's chicken.
Currently, there is no direct tie between the outbreak and the antics in Washington, D.C. -- the company and the outbreak obviously started before the shutdown. But it would be nice to know our inspection agencies are able to properly manage this outbreak and future food-borne bacteria eruptions should they occur.
Hey, we can always dream.
Follow Sara Ventiera on Twitter, @saraventiera.