The Foster Farms recall due to a Salmonella outbreak which has sickened almost 300 people in 18 states and sent 42 percent of them into the hospital has prompted Foster Farms to issue a press release on its website. “If you have any questions related to raw chicken safety, please call our Consumer Affairs team at 800-338-8051.” According to an Oct. 9, 2013, The Daily Courier report, the Foster Farms recall due to the salmonella outbreak also prompted Foster Farms to initiate its “customer notification system that alerts customers through register receipt tape messages and phone calls.”
The Foster Farms recall prompted by the salmonella outbreak includes chicken products that are sold under a variety of labels and are identifiable by looking on packages for USDA inspection numbers P6137, P6137A and P7632.
Customers are advised to check for the referenced products. Any opened or unopened products with the above inspection numbers should be returned for a full refund.
Foster Farms is one of the nation's largest privately owned poultry producers and the company is based in Livingston, Calif. Besides California, Foster Farms has poultry plants in Oregon, Washington, and Alabama.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture is threatening to close three California poultry plants operated by Foster Farms after they have been linked to the salmonella outbreak.
The chicken included in the Foster Farms recall was distributed to retail outlets mainly in California, Oregon and Washington, but illnesses have been reported in 18 states including Alaska, Arkansas, Arizona, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Michigan, North Carolina, Nevada, Oregon, Texas, Utah, Washington and Wisconsin.
Similar to the Foster Farms recall information available on its website, the CDC is emphasizing that salmonella can be present in all raw chicken. The CDC advises that any poultry should be thoroughly cooked at 165 degrees in order to kill any illness-causing bacteria and that good cooking, hand hygiene and kitchen practices should always be followed.
Unlike previous salmonella outbreaks, however, a spokeswoman for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention commented that 42 percent of affected people had to be hospitalized because these salmonella infections appear to be resistant to the most common antibiotics.
“At least seven different strains of Salmonella Heidelberg have been tied to the outbreak, which led CDC officials on Tuesday to recall 30 staffers, including 10 who work for the agency’s PulseNet team, which monitors the electronic fingerprint of dangerous foodborne bugs. They’d been on furlough because of a government shutdown stretching into its second week,” reported Dallas News.