Less so if you are 1 of the 1.4M Americans sickened by Salmonella yearly in the United States.
The Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI) posted on its website today that the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service today denied a three-year-old regulatory petition from the CSPI asking the department to declare dangerous strains of antibiotic-resistant Salmonella as adulterants.
On the other coast, Lynne Terry of the Oregonian today wrote that the U.S. Department of Agriculture announced that it is overhauling poultry processing inspections for the first time in nearly 60 years, enacting a plan that will cut the number of inspectors but require stepped up testing in plants and plans to prevent contamination. Tom Vilsack, USDA secretary, said the new rule relies on “sound science to modernize food safety procedures and prevent thousands of illnesses a year.” The USDA says the plan will reduce food poisoning by 5,000 cases a year. Critics of the slaughter reform, however, say it could lead to more illnesses and will essentially put the inspection process in private hands.
Also today the CDC announced today a total of 634 persons infected with seven outbreak strains of Salmonella Heidelberg were reported from 29 states and Puerto Rico from March 1, 2013 to July 11, 2014. 38% of ill persons were hospitalized, and no deaths were reported. Most ill persons (77%) were reported from California. The current outbreak appears to be over as the number of reported infections has returned to the expected number for this time of year. Epidemiologic, laboratory, and traceback investigations conducted by local, state, and federal officials indicated that consumption of Foster Farms brand chicken was the source of this outbreak of Salmonella Heidelberg infections.