An outbreak of infections from antibiotic-resistant salmonella linked to chicken processed by Foster Farms continues to sicken people in the United States and Puerto Rico. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) had declared the outbreak over on Jan. 16, with 430 reports of illness across 23 states and Puerto Rico. However, since then, 51 more cases were reported and two more states were added to the list.
Seven different strains of salmonella Heidelberg have been tied to Foster Farms facilities in California through epidemiologic, laboratory and traceback investigations on the local, state and federal level. According to the CDC, hospitalization rates are nearly twice as high for this outbreak than for previous salmonella outbreaks, with 38 percent of those sickened in this outbreak requiring hospitalization compared to 20 percent with previous outbreaks. The reason is because strains of salmonella are becoming increasingly resistant to antibiotics given chickens that are raised in dirty, crowded environments.
Federal officials closed a Foster Farms plant in Livingston, Calif., in January after finding the plant was infested with cockroaches. The plant has since reopened but it and two other Foster Farms facilities remain under increased surveillance by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS).
Despite the new outbreak, which has been positively linked to Foster Farms poultry parts, the company has issued no recalls. USDA officials have not required recalls either. Food Safety and Inspection officials said that they are continuing to monitor the company’s efforts to reduce the salmonella in its chicken parts.
Source: NBC News