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Marler Blog Providing Commentary on Food Poisoning Outbreaks & Litigation

Did FSIS “Chicken Out” or did Foster Farms get its “Salmonella” together?

According to Lynne Terry, the Salmonella Lady, the U.S. Department of Agriculture decided Thursday not close three Foster Farms plants, saying the company had made major changes to stem Salmonella contamination.

“Foster Farms has submitted and implemented immediate substantive changes to their slaughter and processing to allow for continued operations,” the USDA said in a statement. It said inspectors will verify that the changes are implemented “in a continuous and ongoing basis.”

Inspectors will step up their testing and sampling at the plants over the next three months to ensure that the company has, in fact, reined in the Salmonella bacteria, the statement said.

Here are the letters ONETWO and THREE that FSIS sent to Foster Farms just yesterday.

Foster Farms raw poultry is implicated in two multistate outbreak that has sickened at least 278 people in 17 states and 134 in 13 states.

The company’s president apologized. But Foster Farms did not order a recall. The USDA, which essentially allows poultry producers to sell chicken with a 10 percent rate of Salmonella, didn’t either.