US Salmonella outbreak heightens during government shutdown

Wholesale retailer Costco has recalled almost 40,000 pounds of rotisserie chicken products from a Californian store because the food may be linked to an outbreak of salmonella poisoning which has now affected more than 300 people across 20 states.

The chicken may have been contaminated by a strain of salmonella called Samonella Heidelberg which is rarely found in the states, but has been linked to an ongoing food poisoning outbreak associated with three Foster Farm poultry plants in California, NBC NEWS reports.

The USDA issued a public health alert last Monday for products from the Foster Farm plants, but following negotiations on Thursday, the USDA agreed that the facilities could remain open on the condition that the company promised to fix problems related to the outbreak.

Foster Farms have not issued voluntary recalls of its chicken products, stating that as the USDA continued to inspect the products, and providing that the raw chicken is handled safety and cooked to 165 degrees Fahrenheit, that the product is safe for consumption.

According to the Centers for disease Control and Prevention, the outbreak strains of Samonella Heidelberg are resistant to several strains of antibiotics.

As of 11 October, the Centre reported that 317 people have been infected by the strain in 20 states, 73 percent of which have come from California. The Centre also states that some cases have been confirmed in Puerto Rico.

The outbreak could not have come at a worse time as America’s Food and Drug Authority, (FDA) confirmed only a few days ago that all routine food safety inspections would be suspended during the current government shutdown. The FDA did state however that it will be inspecting only those facilities that it presented “an immediate threat to public health,” The Huffington Post reports.


Send this to a friend