October 18, 2013, 1:21 pm 37 Comments
More on Chicken
By MARK BITTMAN
In the wake of the salmonella Heidelberg outbreak in chicken, which I wrote about on Wednesday, here are some updates:
Food safety advocates are demanding to know why there has been no recall of Foster Farms chicken. The U.S.D.A.’s Assistant Administrator for F.S.I.S. Field Operations, Daniel Engeljohn, talks about the current state of the inquiry.
Consumer groups are calling on the U.S.D.A. to strengthen its inspection program to prevent contaminated poultry products from being sold to consumers.
Foster Farms ignored a 2012 salmonella monitoring upgrade request: According to a C.D.C. report, Foster Farms chicken was found to be infected with the Heidelberg salmonella strain in 2004 and 2012. The C.D.C. found that the blame in the 2012 outbreak wasn’t necessarily with Foster Farms or its production system, but with the oversight the production system receives.
Foster Farms is not alone: According to Consumer Reports, other major brands that are processed in the same plants involved in the salmonella outbreak include Eating Right, Kirkland Signature, O Organics, Open Nature, Ralphs, Safeway Farms and Simple Truth Organic.
Researchers at Purdue University have developed a tool for rapid salmonella detection called a continuous cell concentration device, which could make it possible to routinely analyze food or water samples to screen for pathogens within a single work shift at food processing plants.
Food safety experts say the outbreak has peculiar features that should alarm regulators and consumers alike, particularly the number of people who are coming down with a form of the disease that is resistant to antibiotics.
A Costco store in San Francisco is recalling an additional 14,093 units of rotisserie chicken products that may be contaminated with a strain of salmonella, the U.S. D.A.’s Food Safety and Inspection Service announced Thursday.