Occupational Health & Safety

The Government Shutdown and its Effect on Food Safety

After a recent outbreak of salmonella present in 18 states, the CDC recalls 30 furloughed employees

Nearly 300 people in 18 different states have been reported to have salmonella as a result of contaminated chicken from Foster Farms in California. The contaminated poultry is thought to have been produced at three different Foster facilities, according to Food Safety News.

Though the government furloughed 6,000 of the CDC’s 9,000 workers, they have recalled 30 to deal with the salmonella outbreak. According to Food Safety News, the outbreak hasn’t been officially linked to a specific product, but it is believed that all contaminated poultry contains establishment numbers “P6137,” “P6137A” and “P7632,” which indicates not only that they were USDA certified, but also that they were from Foster Farms.

So far, the outbreak has caused 278 to become ill, with 42% of those ill seeking medical help, according to Fox News. The CDC announced the return of 30 employees after they discovered that certain strains of the salmonella were resistant to antibiotics.

A recall has not been set in place by Foster Farms regarding their products, as a spokesman from the company said that the illnesses are occurring from improper handling or not cooking chicken long enough. FSIS, however, believes the salmonella can be traced back to the farm. 

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