CDC Calls Back Staff To Handle Salmonella Outbreak

By  //  October 10, 2013

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ABOVE VIDEO: The Los Angeles Times reports that a salmonella outbreak from chicken packaged at three Foster Farms facilities in California has sickened more than 270 people in 18 states. 

EDITOR’S NOTE:  The shutdown of the federal government has slowed the response of the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) to a salmonella outbreak from raw chicken that has affected 18 states, including Florida. The food-safety outbreak, which appears to be serious, includes nearly 300 cases that have required hospitalization. 

The CDC is scrambling and, as reported below in the excerpted article from MedPage Today, have called back at least 30 of the approximately 78 furloughed members of the food-borne pathogen staff.

After handling raw chicken, be sure to thoroughly wash your hands.
After handling raw chicken, be sure to thoroughly wash your hands.

In a press release late Wednesday afternoon, the Florida Department of Health confirmed one case of salmonellosis tied to the suspect chicken from Foster Farms poultry products, raised and processed in California, and is working with the CDC and the Department of Agriculture on the investigation. In the release Dr. Anna Marie Likos, director of the state’s Division of Disease Control and Health Protection, said, “Individuals who have eaten the suspect chicken and experience symptoms like diarrhea, fever, and abdominal cramps should seek medical attention. The Department will continue to monitor the situation and inform the public as new information becomes available.”

Salmonella infection is associated with undercooked or improperly handled meat, so be sure to wash your hands thoroughly after handling raw meat and cook all poultry to an internal temperature of at least 165 degrees Fahrenheit. For more information on food safety, go to the U.S. Department of Agriculture Food Safety Hotline.

MEDPAGETODAY.COM – An outbreak of Salmonella Heidelberg has spread to 18 states and has sickened nearly 300, prompting the return of some 30 CDC staffers furloughed during the government shutdown to work on the case.

The government shutdown has had an impact on the CDC's response to an 18 state salmonella outbreak.
The government shutdown has had an impact on the CDC’s response to an 18 state salmonella outbreak.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) was the agency that sourced the outbreak to raw chicken products from three Foster Farms facilities in California, although there is no clear indication of which products specifically are affected or the time period in which these products were released, the agency said in a news brief.

The CDC, like many other government agencies, has been operating under “minimal support,” and until Tuesday had only two of 80 foodborne pathogen-analyzing staff on duty, according to a report by ABC News.

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