October 7th, 2013
11:30 PM ET
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A Salmonella outbreak linked to a California poultry producer has sickened approximately 278 people in 18 states, health officials say. As of Tuesday morning, no recall had been issued.

Raw chicken products from Foster Farms plants have been identified as the likely source of this outbreak of Salmonella Heidelberg.

The Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS), an agency of the U.S. Department of Agriculture, has so far been unable to identify the specific product or production period, but raw products from the potentially affected facilities bear one of the following numbers on the packaging: P6137, P6137A, P7632. These product numbers were mainly distributed to retail outlets in California, Oregon and Washington state.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is partnering with state health departments to monitor the outbreak while FSIS continues its investigation, but due to the government shutdown, current information may not be available on the agencies' websites.

"While the company, FSIS and CDC continue to investigate the issue, Foster Farms has instituted a number of additional food safety practices, processes and technology throughout company facilities that have already proven effective in controlling Salmonella in its Pacific Northwest operations earlier this year," Foster Farms said in a statement on its website.

The CDC first alerted FSIS to a growing number of Salmonella cases on July 1, USDA spokesman Aaron Lavallee told CNN. At the time, 18 people had been sickened in four states, and Foster Farms was a possible link between the patients. USDA investigators began "site sampling," or testing Foster Farms facilities on September 9, and concluded their analysis of the majority of the samples collected on October 7.

"The partial government shutdown did not affect the investigation or communication with the public," Lavallee said.

The Salmonella outbreak comes one week after CDC Director Tom Frieden tweeted: "CDC had to furlough 8,754 people. They protected you yesterday, can't tomorrow. Microbes/other treats didn't shut down. We are less safe."

That raises the question: With government agencies like the CDC on furlough due to the partial government shutdown, is our food supply safe?

The shutdown notice issued by the USDA indicates the the FSIS will continue to inspect birds and animals intended for use as food both before and after slaughter, supervise the further processing of meat and poultry products, ensure that meat, poultry and egg products are safe and also prevent the sale of adulterated meat or poultry products. Despite furloughing 1,218 employees, the USDA says no meat and poultry inspectors have been put on leave.

But future outbreak investigations could be affected by the government shutdown if it continues much longer, some experts say.

"The CDC is the central coordination point and often the leader of the investigation, and the state health departments all collaborate under the umbrella of CDC guidance," says Dr. William Schaffner, chairman of the department of preventive medicine at Vanderbilt University. "The CDC invariably is the conductor of the investigative orchestra."

CDC spokeswoman Barbara Reynolds said, “We had about 10 people in the division. Now we have almost the full complement of 30 who were working on PulseNet and epidemiological surveillance.”

“[The] Foodborne [Division] has brought back a number of people to work on this and other clusters of outbreaks,” Reynolds said.

Along with USDA, the CDC believes it has identified what caused the illness, “But the more information we have, the stronger the evidence that we’ve found the source of the outbreak. There’s still some information to be collected and analyzed. All that information helps us determine the timing: how this began, what it began with,” said Reynolds.

State labs are able to do specimen collection and typing but at CDC, Reynolds said the data collection, analysis and input process is more involved. Some of this can be done through email or even by hand, but to get a full sense of it, it needs to be put into the CDC system.

Reynolds added that because of the shutdown, “It’s fair to say there was a delay in the exchange of information. It slowed us down.”

Consumers with food safety questions can "Ask Karen," the FSIS virtual representative available 24 hours a day at AskKaren.gov. The toll-free USDA Meat and Poultry Hotline (1-888-674-6854) is available in English and Spanish and can be reached from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. ET on weekdays. Recorded food safety messages are available 24 hours a day. Consumers with concerns about Foster Farms products should call the company at 1-800-338-8051.

Food poisoning: What you need to know

The Food and Drug Administration recommends a minimum internal temperature of 165 degrees Fahrenheit in order to ensure that harmful bacteria is killed off. The reading should be taken from the thickest part of the flesh, not touching a bone.

Washing poultry before cooking it is not recommended. Bacteria in raw meat and poultry juices can be spread to other foods, utensils, and surfaces. Cooking (baking, broiling, boiling, and grilling) to the right temperature kills the bacteria, so washing food is not necessary.

Fast facts on salmonella

The CDC reports that people in a normal state of health who ingest Salmonella-tainted food may experience diarrhea, fever and abdominal cramps, which typically begin within 12 to 72 hours. This may be accompanied by vomiting, chills, headache and muscle pains. These symptoms may last about four to seven days, and then go away without specific treatment, but left unchecked, Salmonella infection may spread to the bloodstream and beyond, and may cause death if the person is not treated promptly with antibiotics.

Children, the elderly, and people with compromised immune symptoms should practice extreme caution, as salmonellosis may lead to severe illness or even death.

About 48 million people contract some form of food poisoning each year, according to the CDC.

Salmonella was the top cause of foodborne illness, according to the CDC's 2012 report card on food poisoning. However, the overall incidence of Salmonella was unchanged from the 2006-08 data, the agency said. The report card is based on reports from 10 U.S. regions, representing about 15% of the country.

Previously:
A brief history of chicken washing

Consumer resources:
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
Food and Drug Administration's Recalls, Market Withdrawals, & Safety Alerts
FDA Food Safety
FoodSafety.gov
United States Department of Agriculture Food Safety Education
IsItDoneYet.gov

More on food poisoning from CNN Health and all foodborne illness coverage on Eatocracy

Correction:
An earlier version of the explanatory graphic titled Food Poisoning 101 mistakenly included a photo of eggs that bore a red “circle-P” stamp indicating that they had been pasteurized in the shell by National Pasteurized Eggs. We did not mean to suggest that this brand of eggs has contributed to food-related illnesses. We apologize for the error. Pasteurizing eggs effectively reduces the risk of contamination from bacteria that can cause diseases, and the Centers for Disease Control recommends their use as one step that consumers can take to reduce the risk of contracting Salmonella, especially in recipes that call for the use of raw eggs.



soundoff (163 Responses)
  1. Jenny Rodgers

    You've made some good points there. I looked on the internet for additional information about the issue and found most people will go along with your views on this site.

    http://www.poweropen.org

    June 21, 2014 at 11:54 pm | Reply
  2. Jdizzle McHammerpants ♫♫

    Not surprised that chicken taint contains a lot of salmonella

    October 9, 2013 at 2:35 pm | Reply
    • Snickers

      *chuckle*

      October 9, 2013 at 3:56 pm | Reply
  3. Snickers

    The picture on the still video link looks like a giant's toenail-less foot in a really big flip flop. Hee!

    October 9, 2013 at 12:08 pm | Reply
  4. GiGi Eats Celebrities

    Interesting to know considering I have been acting on my "pregnancy cravings" for chicken lately.... ha!

    October 9, 2013 at 12:03 am | Reply
    • Momof2in1Year

      Nothing to "Ha" about! I lost my son when I was 6-1/2 months pregnant to eColi, though we never found the source. Your comment is not very funny.

      October 9, 2013 at 7:21 am | Reply
      • Sgt. Hulka

        While s/he was in that region, you should have asked the doctor to remove that stick from your a$$. Lighten up, Francis.

        October 9, 2013 at 7:42 am | Reply
        • Momof2in1Year

          I dare you to say that to my face, you insensitive tool. Wow... you are beyond disgusting.

          October 9, 2013 at 11:05 am |
        • Momof2in1Year

          Oh, and bring your Mother. Maybe you should quit trying to use your keyboard as a p#### extender.

          October 9, 2013 at 11:15 am |
        • Sgt. Hulka

          Your comment was considerably more offensive than Gigi's was. There's nothing light to be made of a loss of life – ever but you're taking her comment way too seriously.

          I'll be happy to tell you, Francis to lighten the F(*K up to your face. Meet me in front of the building located at 2000 14th Street, NW, Washington, DC on 12/25. I'll be there at 7am taking my morning constitution. Bring YOUR keyboard so you have something to cry on.

          October 9, 2013 at 12:16 pm |
        • momof2in1year

          Explain exactly how my comment was more offensive, when the only thing I did was tell her that loss of life happens due to this and it is not something to be taken lightly? You said that yourself. You then proceed to act like a 5 year-old. I hope you are never in a situation like mine. Congrats on your use of nasty language– classy. I'll see you and your mother (I'm sure she'll be proud)- I'll bring my children, so you can look in their eyes and make light of their brother's death while you tell their mother to lighten the f*** up. Hope you fell like a big man. And you can stop calling me Francis, you condescending, ignorant buffoon.

          October 9, 2013 at 2:26 pm |
        • Jdizzle McHammerpants ♫♫

          Momof2in1year has to be the life of the party.

          You're the only one offended by a non-offensive comment, dufus. You obviously didn't take your therapy seriously.

          October 9, 2013 at 2:37 pm |
        • momof2in1year

          Since when is telling someone that something should be taken seriously and they are not particularly funny "offended"? I'm more offended by the idiot who thinks they have to butt in and bully a bereaved mother. Again, I hope you never have a similar experience. I hope you feel satisfied with your display of class, as well. And you ought to do a little research on salmonella, seems you have it confused (surprise, surprise) with another bacteria. Good luck with thinking YOU are the life of any party–those who feel the need to take down others are simply pitiful.

          October 9, 2013 at 2:52 pm |
        • Sgt. Hulka

          I deny that you're a mother at all, troll. Troll of2in1thread. And another thing ...

          Lighten up, Francis.

          October 14, 2013 at 7:12 am |
        • Momof2in1Year

          Good luck with all of that, Creep.

          October 16, 2013 at 9:22 am |
      • Anonymous

        Sorry to say, but seems like you were the initial cause of all this drama, if you have something ugly to say, don't say anything at all. Initially yes someone was simply saying, they had the cravings, however you as the troll you are took it another way, attacking another individual. So yes, take that big ol'e stick out of your a$$. However sorry to hear about what happened to you. You should really need to think about what you say before you act on it. Might do you some good. Seems like quite the issue we have in the states. Too many people not thinking with their heads.

        You Simply Took Everything Out Of Context.

        October 17, 2013 at 8:35 pm | Reply
        • Momof2in1Year

          Hope you feel like a really big person, too. Really, if you don't have something nice to say? What did you say that was nice? I was simply trying to warn someone (not YOU by the way, so butt out) that this was a serious situation and can cause them great pain. You are trolling over a week later and feel the need to insult someone who has gone through a tragedy? You really are a sick individual– sicker even than the one who really started the drama– Sarge could have kept his yap shut, and you should take your own advice and do the same.

          October 17, 2013 at 11:24 pm |
      • Anon

        Say's the woman who initially got ugly with the OP comment. Really? Are you serious? Check your comments before and tell me, what you said? Was it negative? Yes. Was it towards the person's initial comment? Yes. Did you continue to defend yourself when in fact you should have shut your flying trap? Yes. DO I care to reply a week later? Nope. Just so you know, I'm relitivly nice in real life terms, however the stupid remark you made was just as fun to reply to as to spiff you up, because apparently your PMS is like a heavy flow. lol Maybe actually considering others comments or messages might help you out in life. You reek of negativity.

        Go make another baby, maybe :P See now I can be rude to your arrogant ass eh? (But more critical)

        You hide behind a computer as if you are high on your rocker and the fact that no one can actually discuss with you physicially. You do what you do, I would not be surprised to see others slap the piss out of you in real life. You literally act like an immature child. Best around 17-22/23.

        Sicker then the original OP? HAAAAAA. As if, you'd be surprised how many others would have a field day with you.You by far have yet to realize and to actually be a part of an ugly compromise. Maybe work on that spitefullness eh? :P

        October 18, 2013 at 12:00 pm | Reply
        • momoftwoinoneyear

          I will not stoop to your level. Telling someone their comment is not very funny because the topic is serious with serious consequences is not negative, but simply true. You got over-riled up about something which was absolutely none of your business when you should shut up.

          You are seriously sick. Sicker than any of the other cyber-bullies who jumped in on this innocuous post.

          Glad you think you had fun. I doubt you are nice in real life, either, but you certainly are a nasty piece of work when you hide behind a keyboard.

          October 20, 2013 at 6:16 pm |
  5. Al Most

    For all we do to animals, we deserve whatever malady comes our way.

    October 8, 2013 at 8:39 pm | Reply
    • Chuck

      DO you also cry over fallen trees? hahaha

      October 8, 2013 at 9:21 pm | Reply
  6. Salvi

    Been in the food processing/microbiology realm for years. People have no clue how dirty and unsafe the food they eat is. I don't eat poultry, soft cheese, sprouts, ground beef or anything with powdered cheese like whats put on dorritos. Horrifying

    October 8, 2013 at 8:29 pm | Reply
    • Salvi

      i forgot chopped mixed lettuce , that's remarkably dangerous too

      October 8, 2013 at 8:36 pm | Reply
  7. boungiorno

    i guess allocated monies to make sure food is processed and inspected right hasnt been approved and the people have been layed off or are down to part time

    October 8, 2013 at 7:43 pm | Reply
  8. gliderbee

    It's not Salmonella making these people sick. They were watching CNN trying to be even handed to Repubs and Democrats when it's so clear that it is a REPUBLICAN problem. How is this not obvious? Why can't our news outlets actually call a spade a spade? When you have one house, refusing to pass ONE bill that will open the gov't, versus the other (Senate) which is asked to pass THIS and THAT and THE OTHER bill to open the gov't piecemeal, who is making the more trouble?? THAT'S what is making this country SICK.

    October 8, 2013 at 5:59 pm | Reply
    • regenesis0

      The fatality rate for Salmonella is ~1%. Which means 2.5 people are going to die here.

      I hear the CDC weren't the ones who noticed how far the outbreak had spread. It was a reporter from Vermont doing a story about a local outbreak who started calling around and realized "huh, 18 states!"
      The CDC is supposed to collate that sort of data... but like they said, 2/3 of its people are furloughed, and all of the FDA's food inspectors are furloughed.

      Go ahead, laugh it up.

      October 8, 2013 at 11:07 pm | Reply
  9. JohnK

    More people hurt by the Republican shutdown of the Government.

    October 8, 2013 at 4:55 pm | Reply
  10. Ryan Texan

    I don't get the recall. People ate raw chicken and got the disease.
    So why are they looking at the animals/processors and not the kitchens that didn't cook the chicken thoroughly?

    October 8, 2013 at 3:17 pm | Reply
    • Ally

      Well, to be fair we don't know that they ate uncooked chicken. They could have contaminated other foods by how they handled the raw chicken before cooking. You cut a raw chicken with a knife and if it has a lot of salmonella bacteria in it and you then use the same unwashed knife to chop your side salad ....voila! You can get it from eating your salad.

      October 8, 2013 at 3:52 pm | Reply
      • Ally

        Or from that wedge of canteloupe you cut for dinner.... as we all know here. ;-P

        October 8, 2013 at 3:54 pm | Reply
  11. BobJones

    Oh deal lord, less government means we are all going to die from bacteria on chicken. Oh please, lord Obama, save us ... please save us!!! Only you (and your constant golfing on courses that aren't closed) can possibly save us.

    October 8, 2013 at 2:46 pm | Reply
    • Salmonella Canteloupe

      Pull the stick out of your butt, please. What a huge fail.

      October 8, 2013 at 3:22 pm | Reply
    • Ryan Texan

      Back when the Obama regime had full funding, their inspectors were so good – you could eat chicken raw without risk.
      Those darn Republicans! Now I'll have to cook my own chicken.

      October 8, 2013 at 3:25 pm | Reply
      • kervin Blackson

        how retarded can you be....keep your Fox News BS to yourself

        October 9, 2013 at 1:36 am | Reply
        • Momof2in1Year

          "Regime" = Rush Limbaugh. Still, you are correct about the lack of original thought.

          October 9, 2013 at 7:26 am |
  12. Alex

    What do the two chickens that do the Foster Farms commercial's have to say about this? Yeah...that's what I thought.

    October 8, 2013 at 2:32 pm | Reply
  13. pk

    Don't you get Salmonella from eating any chicken that might be undercooked?

    October 8, 2013 at 1:46 pm | Reply
    • Ally

      Yep. Or from eating anything that might have been contaminated with the bacteria and not cooked enough to kill it.

      October 8, 2013 at 1:49 pm | Reply
      • Salmonella Canteloupe

        Or from canteloupes. Wink wink.

        October 8, 2013 at 3:21 pm | Reply
      • John Mann

        Not all chicken has salmonella. Jeez. Use Google or something.

        October 8, 2013 at 3:45 pm | Reply
        • Ally

          I never said "all" chicken has salmonella... If it did, there would be no reason for a recall.

          October 8, 2013 at 3:57 pm |
    • Mitch Bee

      Eating under-cooked chicken is one way to get salmonellosis or other foodborne diseases. However, when chicken is the cause of an outbreak, or the outbreak "vehicle" as they say in the food safety business, most people probably get infected from cross contamination rather than from consuming the chicken itself. Those raw chicken drippings on your hands, cutting board, knives, sink handle, the plate that you use to bring the chicken out to the grill, etc. can spread salmonella everywhere, and get into your salad or even back onto the cooked chicken.

      October 8, 2013 at 3:07 pm | Reply
  14. Doug

    We should be grateful that foster farms has allowed the public to be notified of this. Remember the USDA can only release this information with the express consent of the farming company.

    October 8, 2013 at 1:18 pm | Reply
  15. Ann

    Actually its real simple. Americans shouldn't rely on USDA to look out for them. Billions of animals are slaughtered each year for human consumption and there is never enough man power to inspect these animals, who are living in filthy conditions to begin with. They are not treated as living beings, therefore cramped in tight cages, pecking at each other from stress of the lack of space, in an environment filled with amonia, feces, and steroids pumped into them that they can't even stand on their own two feet from the weight of their enormous bodies to be turned into large chicen breasts. When they are slaughtered, most are sick and finally their bodies are hung and sometimes its fast paced so they fall into floors that are covered in roaches, feces, blood and plane filth. This is what people eat. This is your chicken wing, chicken breast sandwich and your fryers. Sick animals, full of antibiotics, steroids, just completely drugged, and beaks cut off without pain killers, thrown across the flloors and into trucks as if they are objects. Oh wait, for the egg producing hens, they are starved two weeks so that they can produce extra eggs. Oh wait, one more, the male chicks born are thrown alive in a grinder, alive because they have no use. Okay have fun.

    October 8, 2013 at 12:57 pm | Reply
    • Ally

      You must be a lot of fun at parties.

      The operations you speak of don't account for all meat production plants or farms. That's why I encourage friends to find out where their meat comes from. If you buy from humane operations they will thrive.

      October 8, 2013 at 1:07 pm | Reply
      • Ally821

        "You must be a lot of fun at parties" - LOL!

        You're right, though. I buy my meat from a small family-owned business, who raises and hand-slaughters their own chickens. Unfortunately, the inhumane treatments tend to come from big businesses who are trying to keep up with the demand of meat-eaters.

        October 8, 2013 at 2:55 pm | Reply
    • Ike Foster

      Well said Ann. That's why I raise my own meat. Wandering through pastures, eating grass and forage with no drugs, and butchered in my front yard with no cross contamination with CAFO animals.

      October 8, 2013 at 1:13 pm | Reply
    • Doug

      The USDA has no authority to regulate or prevent food contamination. Remember any notification or recall us up to the company. Pork could be contaminated with a highly pathogenic listeria, and the company could sell it knowing this. The USDA would not be able to stop them, nor would the USDA be able to warn the public. Our food safety laws are no better than China.

      October 8, 2013 at 1:20 pm | Reply
      • What?

        You really should learn something about the USDA or stop showing your ignorance.

        If you think a USDA inspector can't put a HOLD on product he/she deems unsafe, then you don't know a d _ _ _ thing about inspection (but, then, you've already proven that). And when a product is on HOLD, it doesn't go anywhere.

        October 9, 2013 at 11:59 am | Reply
    • MC Hamburger

      " there is never enough man power to inspect these animals"
      --------------
      The fact that you don't realize these plants are required to pay inspectors themselves makes me kinda doubt the rest of your rant.

      October 8, 2013 at 2:51 pm | Reply
      • Ally821

        I'm a bit skeptical about your comment, as well. So what if they pay inspectors? How many show up?... 1? 2? 10?... to inspect hundreds of chickens? If "inspectors" were doing their jobs properly, half of these outbreaks would never have occurred!

        Indeed, there is just not enough man-power to do the job properly.

        October 8, 2013 at 3:03 pm | Reply
        • Salmonella Canteloupe

          "So what if they pay inspectors? How many show up?." If they don't show, the plant closes. Learn about life.

          October 8, 2013 at 3:29 pm |
        • Doug

          Plants do NOT close if inspectors don't show up. Inspections are all voluntary, in fact if a provider doesn't wish to have their products inspected, they are still allowed to sell the product, the public does not need to be informed it wasn't inspected.

          October 8, 2013 at 4:00 pm |
        • What?

          @ Doug

          Do what? You don't have a flipping clue what you're talking about. GRADING is voluntary, inspection for wholesomeness is absolutely mandatory unless it's custom slaughter for an individual (a.k.a. "not for sale"). Must be nice for you to have a public vehicle to spread your ignorance.

          October 9, 2013 at 11:57 am |
      • Doug

        The fact that you don't realize the USDA has no authority to prevent a plant from selling contaminated meat, makes me question what you have to say. Inspections have no real meaning, and do nothing to protect the people.

        October 8, 2013 at 3:55 pm | Reply
        • jane

          false information

          October 8, 2013 at 7:00 pm |
  16. Ike Foster

    I raise my own meat, butcher my own meat, cook my own meat, and eat it with my family. I'd love to sell it too, but the USDA goes to great lengths to make that illegal or extremely difficult for you.

    October 8, 2013 at 12:44 pm | Reply
    • tony

      Unfortunately for universal freedom in this great country, somewhat in excess of 50% of the population live in cities with no prior ownership or access to farmable land. While that may seem to be a choice they make, that loss is balanced by your technology ability to post your remarks here, which is a benefit provided by city dwellers and not by farmers.

      October 8, 2013 at 1:51 pm | Reply
      • macs

        Yes, you are right. Most people don't farm anymore in this country, but only because fewer farmers and larger farms are carrying the load of food production so others don't have to think about it. Too bad they can't eat their computers. Agriculture has always been the #1 occupation of man and always will be because man has to eat 365 days a year...even if the internet goes down. Technology can't change that fact.

        October 8, 2013 at 3:29 pm | Reply
      • Ike Foster

        My point is that I'd love to sell to people who don't live on farmable land, but the USDA won't let me.

        October 8, 2013 at 4:16 pm | Reply
  17. Steven Gold

    Just assume all of your food as some bacteria. Cook it will enough to kill the bacteria, and handle your prep areas and utensils correctly including cleaning them after preparing raw food and before you use them on other food.
    We really don't need (long term) to have all of our foods injected with antibiotics. That just potentially speeds up the process of the bacteria developing a resistance earlier.

    October 8, 2013 at 12:25 pm | Reply
  18. Alex

    Serve uninspected meat at the congressional dining rooms

    October 8, 2013 at 11:41 am | Reply
    • Ryan Texan

      Don't you mean raw uninspected meat?
      I'd prefer cooked uninspected meat to raw inspected meat.

      October 8, 2013 at 3:20 pm | Reply
  19. Salmonella Canteloupe

    TTTTTTT yourself, dude. Sober up maybe?

    October 8, 2013 at 11:13 am | Reply
  20. FAT JIM

    I don't have to worry about this e only chicken I eat is from mcdonalds and that's not real chicken .. Damn I stay winning. At life ...

    October 8, 2013 at 11:03 am | Reply
    • Salmonella Canteloupe

      Tiger blood?

      October 8, 2013 at 11:13 am | Reply
  21. Cyx

    How can you tell someone is a vegan?

    Don't worry, they'll tell you.

    October 8, 2013 at 10:45 am | Reply
    • stagger72

      That's the truth. Maybe most vegans are gay. Because lord knows, they have to tell you that also...

      October 8, 2013 at 10:52 am | Reply
      • Ann

        It takes one to know one.

        October 8, 2013 at 12:04 pm | Reply
        • Dr. Phil@Ann

          What are you, five?

          October 8, 2013 at 12:11 pm |
  22. Mary Ann Thayer

    So this wonderful government program not only can't protect us fromf ood born illnesses it can't even tell us where it came from after we get sick

    October 8, 2013 at 10:43 am | Reply
    • Salmonella Canteloupe

      I was in hiding until the government shutdown, but now, with the inspectors sidelined, I can make my move. You are all doomed.

      October 8, 2013 at 1:37 pm | Reply
  23. usam

    I am a vegan for at least 26 years because of the illnesses caused by eating meat. There are plenty of protein sources not meat.

    October 8, 2013 at 10:34 am | Reply
    • stagger72

      Congratulations...

      October 8, 2013 at 10:44 am | Reply
    • Juan

      You can get illnesses by eating fruits and veggies too... trust me. So cut the crap about your vegan is better than meat-eaters!

      October 8, 2013 at 10:51 am | Reply
      • Ann

        Hello Juan, whats with the hostility. Is that caused by eating meat? hahahaha

        October 8, 2013 at 12:05 pm | Reply
      • Ryan Texan

        Statistically, the vast majority of food borne illnesses come from produce.
        Most produce can be eaten raw.
        Most meat is eaten only cooked.
        So in this case they didn't cook the meat thoroughly.
        No Gov't inspector is going to save you if your plan is to eat raw chicken.

        October 8, 2013 at 3:23 pm | Reply
    • nepawoods

      You're more likely to ingest a food borne pathogen from a vegetable source than from meat.

      Chicken should be cooked. How do people not know that?

      October 8, 2013 at 10:57 am | Reply
    • Salmonella Canteloupe

      " There are plenty of protein sources not meat" Yep, nuts and beans. Eat about four pounds of beans a day and you'll get as much protein as a Big Mac. Maybe. They are good for your heart, though.

      October 8, 2013 at 11:17 am | Reply
      • RC

        Big Macs are good for your heart? Can't wait for lunch!

        October 8, 2013 at 11:24 am | Reply
        • Gerontion

          No, no, BEANS are good for your heart. They are musical fruit, y'know.

          October 8, 2013 at 12:10 pm |
    • Gerontion

      I am sorry to hear that an illness turned you into a vegan. I certainly hope it is not contagious or common.

      October 8, 2013 at 12:12 pm | Reply
    • Ally

      usam, I'm glad being vegan is working for you. I eat a mostly vegetarian diet myself. But people are more likely to get "food poisioning" type illnesses from eathing fruits and vegetables than from eating meat. Google the last 10 cases of outbreaks. I believe 7 out of 10 have been from fuits and veggies.

      October 8, 2013 at 12:46 pm | Reply
      • Salmonella Canteloupe

        " I believe 7 out of 10 have been from fuits and veggies" Say my name! Wooo!

        October 8, 2013 at 1:38 pm | Reply
  24. CherryMama

    I'm getting more excited to raise my own birds next year. After some initial investments of an incubator, good fencing, and some heat lamps, I will be able to provide my family with healthy, organic chicken for life. No worries about diseases, ill treatment, or garbage fed birds.

    October 8, 2013 at 10:14 am | Reply
    • Keeper

      Riiiight. No worry about diseases, or cross contamination!

      You do realize that your birds can get as sick as they can on a massive farm right? And without proper care and treatment, your other birds will likely contract the same illness? And unless you have set up your roost correctly, your eggs are going to be contaminated as well.

      I'm all for raising your own birds. I LOVE my home-grown eggs. But it's not as easy and rosey as you think.

      October 8, 2013 at 10:29 am | Reply
  25. Kenny_Bania

    If you cook chicken until its cooked through (like ALL poultry) and you wouldnt be sick.

    October 8, 2013 at 10:09 am | Reply
  26. scott bleyle

    Met a third generation Dairy Farmer who never drank Milk in his life,his Family would sell anyone all they wanted.Back in the day.milk was unpasteurized and often contaminated,still occasionally happens today.

    October 8, 2013 at 10:03 am | Reply
    • Gerontion

      Milk used to contain tuberculosis, which got into your bones and rolled you up into a hunchbacked dwarf. Pasteur saved millions of lives and is still saving them.

      October 8, 2013 at 11:19 am | Reply
  27. LetsGetSerious

    But we are supposed to stop washing poultry. Riiiiiiiiiiiiiight. Keep everything clean, folks. You just never know.

    October 8, 2013 at 10:03 am | Reply
  28. Nick E.

    Are you sure that we can ask Karen with the FSIS? Isn't she unavailable too because of the government shutdown?

    October 8, 2013 at 9:48 am | Reply
    • Kat Kinsman

      You can still go here and submit queries: http://www.fsis.usda.gov/wps/portal/informational/askkaren

      October 8, 2013 at 10:13 am | Reply
  29. Emily

    Good thing I'm a vegan...

    October 8, 2013 at 9:29 am | Reply
    • Salmonella Canteloupe

      Only a matter of time, then . . .

      October 8, 2013 at 9:40 am | Reply
    • Religious Guy

      Seems like you live a life of denial. Spinach and other vegetables are known for salmonella & e.coli outbreaks.

      October 8, 2013 at 10:45 am | Reply
      • boredofceleb

        Very true! I got a terrible case of e.coli from a salad that had no meat once from a NICE restaurant. You just never know. And there's no way of rinsing the vegetables til they're safe, either.

        October 8, 2013 at 11:00 am | Reply
        • Gerontion

          " And there's no way of rinsing the vegetables til they're safe, either." Sure there is, rinse 'em in bleach water. Ah, fresh Taiwan cabbage, right from the Benjo Ditch.

          October 8, 2013 at 12:09 pm |
        • Salmonella Canteloupe

          I used to date E. Coli. But his rapper lifestyle was too crunk for me, yo.

          October 8, 2013 at 12:28 pm |
      • Ann

        Thats because they have come in contact with meat.

        October 8, 2013 at 12:07 pm | Reply
        • Ally

          Ann, It doesn't have to be "meat" in the sense of prepared food. It can be from humans and any type of animal, wild or otherwise.

          October 8, 2013 at 1:01 pm |
        • Salmonella Canteloupe

          I use the runoff from swine plants to keep my contagion fresh. Try the hummus?

          October 8, 2013 at 1:40 pm |
        • Mr. T

          "I pity the Fool that tries to make me eat hummus!"

          October 9, 2013 at 9:29 am |
    • My Too Senseworth

      Spinach got me when I was trying to eat less meat and more veggies........ In California of all places..... I was sick for a week and now I can hardly look at a salad any more. Now everything I eat is cooked and I prefer to cook it myself.

      October 8, 2013 at 1:57 pm | Reply
  30. rick

    "The CDC reports that people in a normal state of health who ingest Salmonella-tainted food may experience diarrhea, fever and abdominal cramps, which typically begin within 12 to 72 hours. This may be accompanied by vomiting, chills, headache and muscle pains. These symptoms may last about four to seven days, and then go away without specific treatment, but left unchecked, Salmonella infection may spread to the bloodstream and beyond, and may cause death if the person is not treated promptly with antibiotics". Didn't they just contradict themselves???

    October 8, 2013 at 9:11 am | Reply
    • Salmonella Canteloupe

      The keyword is "may." We try our best to kill you humans, but often your pesky immune systems defeat us. We will get you in the end. Try the hummus.

      October 8, 2013 at 9:18 am | Reply
      • Green Onions©

        I have killed more people than you have, and I have my own hit record.

        October 8, 2013 at 10:05 am | Reply
  31. John Holmes

    I always wash my meat before using it.

    October 8, 2013 at 9:07 am | Reply
    • RC

      Yeah, and look where that got you........

      October 8, 2013 at 10:35 am | Reply
    • boredofceleb

      Using a condom would be safer.

      October 8, 2013 at 11:02 am | Reply
  32. Mike Bowes

    My doctor says " if you don't grow it and kill it and clean it don't eat it"

    October 8, 2013 at 8:57 am | Reply
    • Salmonella Canteloupe

      I'm guessing you don't get much beef.

      October 8, 2013 at 9:17 am | Reply
    • MoodyFoodie

      So most people would have an extremely limited diet...!

      October 8, 2013 at 3:40 pm | Reply
  33. Not washing meat?

    I'm sorry, but not washing meat is not wise at all. You should be washing your meat. It's not rocket science to be careful about water splatter. You don't need the water to the max to wash off the chicken. Cleaning off the counter and disenfecting the sink isn't hard either.

    October 8, 2013 at 8:51 am | Reply
    • cl0ugh

      Why is washing meat necessary? Only full cooking to required temps will kill the microbes that make people sick and washing has been a contributing factor to many illnesses, just as not properly washing hands, and cross contamination of utensils.

      You are not going to be able to wash the salmonella away so why put it under running water and possibly spread the infectious bacteria?

      October 8, 2013 at 9:06 am | Reply
    • boredofceleb

      I always use plastic disposable gloves (from Costco) when handling poultry, rinse in sink, put the poultry on a plate and dry with paper towels. Dish goes immediately in dishwasher after rinsed off. And once the bird is in the oven, I spray 409 antibacterial over the sinks counters and faucets and let sit for 30 minutes before wiping or rinsing off. Easy enough, but I prefer to know it's been rinsed clean. Even if you don't rinse the poultry, you should wear the gloves while handling the poultry and preparing it for the oven.

      October 8, 2013 at 11:07 am | Reply
  34. dave

    don’t buy from California

    October 8, 2013 at 8:49 am | Reply
  35. Redeye Dog

    Which 18 States?

    October 8, 2013 at 8:36 am | Reply
  36. Salmonella Canteloupe

    Beware, humans. We will get you all one day.

    October 8, 2013 at 8:29 am | Reply
  37. Sane Person

    "While the company, FSIS and CDC continue to investigate the issue, Foster Farms has instituted a number of additional food safety practices, processes and technology throughout company facilities that have already proven effective in controlling Salmonella in its Pacific Northwest operations earlier this year"

    So, you were waiting to implement this in your other plants until people died or something? Greedy companies need to put safety protocols in BEFORE people get sick. Guess its a good thing we have a federal government.... oh wait.

    October 8, 2013 at 4:47 am | Reply
    • Salmonella Canteloupe

      "Guess its a good thing we have a federal government.... oh wait." Yep, those 800,000 non-essential workers don't matter at all unless they do. Stock up on Mexiform©.

      October 8, 2013 at 10:10 am | Reply
  38. Mel Stricker

    I am very careful with chicken and eggs. As to chicken (and pork), one of the things that causes problems is washing the meat before preparing. When you wash there is no way to stop some of the water from splashing on the counter which immediately contaminates the counter. Then you put some other food or dishes on the counter and bam, you have problems. I never wash meat.

    As to eggs, I only by pasteurized eggs. There is only 1 or 2 brands that are certified pasteurized.

    October 8, 2013 at 4:10 am | Reply
    • SixDegrees

      Probably good advice. But it ignores that the majority of food contamination cases in the US involve fruits and vegetables, not meat.

      October 8, 2013 at 4:47 am | Reply
      • Salmonella Canteloupe

        Your warnings are too late for many. We will get you all in the end.

        October 8, 2013 at 8:30 am | Reply
    • Robert

      Washing meat gets rid of the nasty slaughterhouse slime off of it.

      Ever put a chicken in a pot and had to spoon off the brown goo from the top of the pot after it reaches a boil?

      That's the nasty stuff you would have washed down the drain had you cleaned the meat in the first place.

      Funny how people are so scared about "water splashing everywhere" from washing meat but then don't think the same thing happens when washing hands!

      These so-called experts who say not to wash meat are certified idiots.

      October 8, 2013 at 7:58 am | Reply
      • Salmonella Canteloupe

        You can't reason with OCD people. They either won't wash at all or they wash fifty times.

        October 8, 2013 at 9:43 am | Reply
      • What?

        That "brown goo" is simply part of the water-soluble proteins that have leaked out of the meat. Same thing with the gray-looking stuff left in a skillet if you fry a hamburger. There's nothing "nasty" about it.

        October 9, 2013 at 12:08 pm | Reply
    • rs1201

      i always wash both meat and chicken....but I also constantly wipe down my countertops with hot water and soap. I've never had any problems. I also always cook both meat and chicken at temperatures and lengths of times that would be lethal to any organisms that may be present in the food. It's just common sense.

      Foster's suggestion to go ahead and cook the chicken and eat it is despicable. If I know that the meat or chicken I'm handling has a problem...it goes straight to the garbage and I disinfect everything that it may have come into contact.

      October 8, 2013 at 8:33 am | Reply
    • Kitchen Kitchen

      Agree, pasteurized eggs are the way to go. Like the ones used in the slideshow above.

      October 9, 2013 at 3:51 pm | Reply
  39. TJC

    The CDC? Just another waste of tax payer money according to the Tea Party. The CDC is operating at severely reduced staff and limited capabilities because of the shutdown.

    October 8, 2013 at 3:57 am | Reply
    • Salmonella Canteloupe

      Don't inspect your food. Nothing to see, move along. Die, humans, die.

      October 8, 2013 at 8:31 am | Reply
    • stagger72

      And it's already been proven that they are useless against a zombie apocalypse. Stoopid CDC...

      October 8, 2013 at 10:47 am | Reply
  40. Dover

    In other news, a recent outbreak of rain has been blamed on weather. Back to you Jim.

    October 8, 2013 at 2:55 am | Reply
  41. Alex Stevens

    The vegans are at it again...

    October 8, 2013 at 1:43 am | Reply
    • Salmonella Canteloupe

      Do they keep you awake at night? Bang on the wall.

      October 8, 2013 at 9:19 am | Reply
  42. bellaterra66

    And this is exactly why I spend more money to buy organic, air-chilled chicken. I wouldn't eat Foster Farms or anything close to it even if I were dying for a piece of chicken. I might not even eat it if I were dying!

    October 8, 2013 at 12:57 am | Reply
    • Kitchen Kitchen

      Salmonella comes from the hen – regardless if it is organic, grass-fed, pasture-raised, cage-free, or raised in your backyard.

      October 9, 2013 at 3:50 pm | Reply
  43. stormy young

    18 states? Only three mentioned. Where is the list for the other 15? Maybe the public is not as important as the companies are.

    October 8, 2013 at 12:36 am | Reply
    • noway

      That's exactly what I was thinking what are the other 15 states?!!! So there's an outbreak and it isn't important to tell the other 15 States? That's straight up BS and yes the law doesn't require locations to be disclosed if enough people aren't sick or the company claims it "contained". Good ole government always looking after the corporations instead of we the people....

      October 8, 2013 at 1:29 am | Reply
      • Salmonella Canteloupe

        "Good ole government always looking after the corporations instead of we the people...." The govt is shut down. I'll take care of you, though. Heh heh. No inspectors now.

        October 8, 2013 at 9:42 am | Reply
    • SixDegrees

      You can find the full list at the USDA website.

      October 8, 2013 at 3:28 am | Reply
      • rick

        The USDA website is shut down too.

        October 8, 2013 at 9:17 am | Reply
        • Rafael

          Gov shutdown forgot? USDA – "Due to the lapse in federal government funding, this website is not available."

          October 8, 2013 at 9:20 am |
        • Kat Kinsman

          FSIS is still up and running: http://www.fsis.usda.gov/wps/portal/fsis/home

          October 8, 2013 at 10:15 am |
        • Keeper

          It's hilarious that they shut down a website because of the government shutdown. Did they shut off all the servers too? Do they realize it costs next to nothing to keep a website up and running (though not maintained or updated)?

          October 8, 2013 at 10:37 am |
        • Salmonella Canteloupe

          "Do they realize it costs next to nothing to keep a website up and running (though not maintained or updated)?" No one there to fix it if it's hacked and serving malware? That can't be allowed, so it's down.

          October 8, 2013 at 11:15 am |

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