Still no Foster Farms recall despite hundreds sickened.

Today the CDC reported a total of 317 individuals infected with the outbreak strains of Salmonella Heidelberg have been reported from 20 states and Puerto Rico linked to Foster Farm’s chicken.  Most of the ill persons (73%) have been reported from California. The number of ill persons identified in each state is as follows: Alaska (2), Arkansas (1), Arizona (13), California (232), Colorado (4), Connecticut (1), Florida (4), Idaho (2), Kentucky (1), Michigan (2), Missouri (5), North Carolina (1), Nevada (9), New Mexico (2), Oregon (8), Puerto Rico (1), Texas (9), Utah (2), Virginia (2), Washington (15), and Wisconsin (1).

In July of 2013 the CDC reported a total of 134 individuals infected with the outbreak strain of Salmonella Heidelberg were reported from 13 states linked to Foster Farm’s chicken. The number of ill persons identified in each state with the outbreak strain was as follows: Alabama (1), Alaska (13), California (11), Hawaii (1), Idaho (2), Massachusetts (1), Montana (2), New York (1), Oregon (40), Utah (3), Virginia (1), Washington (57), and West Virginia (1).

Although, FSIS threatened Foster Farms with taking its inspectors and going home, that did not happen.  FSIS has told us that Foster Farms is working on the problem now.  Apparently, these letters did the trick – Letters ONETWO and THREE that FSIS sent to Foster Farms two days ago.

I did a little searching on and found more that a few example of meat recalls – chicken and beef – due to Salmonella contamination.

Salmonella Enteriditis Due to Contaminated Cargill Ground Beef 2012

40 sick – On July 22, 2012 Cargill Meat Solutions announced a recall of 29,339 pounds of fresh ground beef products due to possible contamination with Salmonella Enteriditis. Using epidemiologic and traceback data public health investigators in 8 states …Read More »

Hannaford Hamburger Ground Beef 2011

20 sick – On December 16, Hannaford, a Scarborough, Maine-based grocery chain, recalled fresh ground beef products that may have been contaminated with a strain of Salmonella Typhimurium. The recall resulted from an investigation into human illness. By January…Read More »

Cargill Meat Solutions Ground Turkey 2011

136 sick – The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) issued a public health alert, on July 29, due to concerns about illnesses caused by Salmonella Heidelberg that associated with the use and the consumption of ground turkey …Read More »

Beef Packers, Inc., Cargill, Ground Beef 2009

2 sick – In December, Beef Packers, Inc., owned by Cargill, recalled over 20,000 pounds of ground beef contaminated with a drug-resistant strain of Salmonella Newport. The company issued an earlier recall in August, 2009, due to contamination of ground beef …Read More »

Beef Packers, Inc., Cargill, Ground Beef 2009

68 sick – A Beef Packers, Inc. plant in California owned by Cargill, distributed approximately 830,000 pounds of ground beef that was likely contaminated with Salmonella Newport. The beef was shipped to distribution centers …Read More »

Emmpak/Cargill Ground Beef 2002

47 sick – In early 2002, isolates of Salmonella Newport in New York State were found to be resistant to more than nine antibiotics and had a decreased susceptibility to the antibiotic, ceftriaxone. Since 1996, an increasing number of Salmonella Newport …Read More »

It cannot be the numbers of sickened.  Frankly, Foster Farms in two outbreaks has sickened more that Cargill did in six.

One form or another of antibiotic-resistant Salmonella caused all of the above outbreaks.

Is it because it is ground vs. whole?

Perhaps Cargill is a more responsible company than Foster Farms?

Bill Marler, a food safety attorney based in Seattle told the Los Angles Times that the USDA needs to take a firmer stance on antibiotic use in agriculture since that practice is leading to more strains emerging in people that can’t be treated with antibiotics. ”The USDA has been incredibly gun-shy with salmonella and basically has been punting this problem down the road,” Marler said. “While at the same time you’re seeing more virulent and more antibiotic-resistant salmonella. The reality on the ground is not keeping up with science. The fact is, this stuff is more problematic than it was just 10 years ago. It’s a different ballgame.”