As of today the USDA is still investigating a Salmonella Enteritidis outbreak but little information has been released.
Chicken has been identified as the possible source for the pathogen, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety Inspection Service.
The agency has not released any information regarding the number of infected people or where they live. Similarly, no information has been released about companies involved in the investigation or brands of chicken involved.
As of April 29 the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention had not released any information regarding the outbreak.
The CDC reports that about 1 in every 25 packages of chicken at the grocery store are contaminated with Salmonella and that you can get sick from contaminated chicken if it’s not cooked thoroughly or if its juices leak in the refrigerator or get on kitchen surfaces and then get on something you eat raw, such as salad. The CDC also reports that about 17% of all Salmonella cases are linked to chicken consumption.
On Jan. 19, 2020, we filed a petition with USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS), on behalf of Rick Schiller, Steven Romes, the Porter family, Food & Water Watch, Consumer Federation of America, and Consumer Reports. 20-01-marler-011920 The petition asked FSIS to declare the following Salmonella “outbreak serotypes” as per se contaminants (adulterants) in meat and poultry products:
Salmonella Agona, Anatum, Berta, Blockely, Braenderup, Derby, Dublin, Enteritidis, Hadar, Heidelberg, I 4,,12:i:-, Infantis, Javiana, Litchfield, Mbandaka, Mississippi, Montevideo, Muenchen, Newport, Oranienburg, Panama, Poona, Reading, Saintpaul, Sandiego, Schwarzengrund, Senftenberg, Stanley, Thompson, Typhi, and Typhimurium.
I said at the time, reducing salmonellosis from meat and poultry “demands bold action” beyond that yet taken by FSIS. Salmonella is a leading cause of foodborne illness in the United States, causing 1.35 million illnesses, 26,500 hospitalizations, 130 outbreaks, and 420 deaths each year.
Presently, government regulators are somewhat silent with what they intend to do. The poultry industry, as expected, sees any additional regulation as unnecessary, burdensome and costly.