Salmonella Outbreak Shows Problems in Poultry Industry

Half a decade after U.S. representatives wrote to the USDA about the agency’s unacceptable response to a previous salmonella outbreak traced to chicken, this current outbreak shows that nothing has changed. Just this month, federal health officials announced that antibiotic-resistant salmonella infected 92 people.

About Salmonella

Salmonella infection (salmonellosis) is a common bacterial disease that affects the intestinal tract. The bacteria usually live in animal and human intestines and shed through feces. Consuming contaminated water or food spreads the infection to humans. Symptoms last two to seven days. Diarrhea may last up to 10 days, however, it may take several months before bowels return to normal. However, salmonella can develop into typhoid fever. This is a deadly disease. About 300 people get typhoid fever in the United States each year. About 22 million cases of typhoid fever and 200,000 related deaths occur worldwide each year.

Salmonella Outbreak Issues Not Fixed

Five years ago, Representative DeLauro wrote a letter to the CDC and USDA urging the agencies to correct a mismanaged salmonella investigation. Contaminated chicken products across the country injured 634 people from 29 different states. Now, another outbreak has infected 92 people and counting. Twenty-one people needed to be hospitalized. DeLauro hopes the agencies will act and ban the use of antibiotics in food animal production unless needed to treat actual livestock illnesses. She feels the overuse of antibiotics makes an outbreak worse.

The current outbreak investigation

sick old manAs of October 17, there were 92 people with confirmed Salmonella Infantis infections traced to raw chicken from multiple sources and sold under various brands. There hasn’t been a single recall even though the outbreak first began in January.

Federal officials have contacted leaders in the chicken industry regarding steps they can take to reduce salmonella contamination. Further investigation and interventions to reduce the prevalence of this strain should target both the live chicken industry and chicken processing facilities. The CDC expects additional illnesses in the coming weeks due to widespread salmonella contamination at chicken farms and processing operations. There hasn’t been a single brand or farm responsible. In fact, it has been the unsafe practices in 58 locations that may have caused this salmonella outbreak.

Help After Food Poisoning

Food poisoning lawsuits play an important role in keeping food systems safe. These lawsuits hold negligent corporations accountable. Plus, it shows lawmakers that food safety is imperative.  When people are injured from outbreaks caused by bacteria or viruses, most of the time it is from a manufacturer being negligent. The company is fully aware of their potentially dangerous practices and do not correct it. Thus, customers’ lives are endangered.

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