NPR’s Dan Charles produced “How Foster Farms is solving the case of the mystery salmonella” that aired this morning. I got a little air time:
Others, like Seattle attorney Bill Marler, who makes his living suing companies when their food makes people sick, say it’s not good enough. “The standard is, it’s still OK to have a pathogen on your product that can sicken and kill your customers. And as long as that’s the way it is, we’re always going to limp from outbreak to outbreak to outbreak,” he says.
Marler believes that the USDA should take the same stand against salmonella that it did against another dangerous microbe: disease-causing E. coli.
When the USDA declared these E. coli bacteria illegal adulterants in food, the meat industry complained, but it also found new ways to prevent them from poisoning people. “It used to be 90 percent of my law firm’s revenue, and now it’s nearly zero. It’s a success story,” says Marler.
Eliminating salmonella altogether would be difficult — it’s much more common in the environment than disease-causing E. coli.