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Major Chicken Salmonella Outbreak Hits During Gov’t Shutdown

October 8, 2013 — California is the hardest-hit state in an 18-state outbreak of Salmonella food poisoning. The U.S. Department of Agriculture has reported 278 illnesses have been linked to raw chicken sold by Foster Farms.

According to a statement from the USDA Food Safety Inspection Service (FSIS), no products have been recalled, although “The outbreak is continuing.”

Normally, multi-state outbreaks of food poisoning are investigated by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC). However, while the U.S. federal government is shut down, only 2 out of 80 employees are working; the rest have been furloughed, but will be receiving retroactive pay.

State health department officials have found that three Foster Farms facilities in California. Most of the chicken products were sold in California, Washington, and Oregon.

Contaminated Foster Farms chicken may be marked with:

  • P6137
  • P6137A
  • P7632

Second Food Poisoning Outbreak Linked to Foster Farms Raw Chicken

Last year, another outbreak of Salmonella was traced to raw chicken from Foster Farms. The outbreak occurred between June 2012 and May 2013. At least 134 people in 13 states got sick, according to an investigation from the CDC:

“Testing conducted by the Washington State Public Health Laboratories identified the outbreak strain of Salmonella Heidelberg in four intact samples of chicken collected from three ill persons’ homes in Washington, which were traced back to two Foster Farms slaughter establishments.”

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