|300 sickened by salmonella in US chicken
A salmonella outbreak in raw chicken has sickened nearly 300 people in the United States, officials said as consumer advocates warned the federal shutdown was hampering a government response.
The 278 illnesses in 18 states were believed to be linked to raw chicken from three Foster Farms locations in California, according to the Food Safety and Inspection Service.
An FSIS spokesman told AFP that 135 inspectors were on duty responding to the outbreak despite the government shutdown.
The shutdown, which began October 1, has sent hundreds of thousands of federal workers home without pay, including staff at the Centers for Disease Control and
A high proportion of people has been hospitalized – 42 percent – and some of the salmonella strains are showing resistance to antibiotics, according to the Center for Science in the Public Interest.
The consumer advocacy group also noted that seven strains of salmonella appear to be responsible for the sicknesses.
Foster Farms said in a statement that no recall is in effect and that “products are safe to consume if properly handled and cooked.''
The company also said it had “instituted a number of additional food safety practices,'' that have been shown in the past to control salmonella.
“Salmonella is naturally occurring in poultry and can be fully eradicated if raw product is properly handled and fully cooked,'' said the farms' food safety chief and head veterinarian Robert O'Connor.