According to Dr. Rob Tauxe, deputy director of food and water borne illnesses and environmental diseases at the CDC, an outbreak of 7 strains of drug-resistant Salmonella Heidelberg bacteria first detected more than a year is ago is “far from over.” In fact, as of this past Monday, thre agency reports that more than 524 people in 25 states, have been stricken by infections, with “at least 37% requiring hospitalization.” It was also noted that the vast majority of all cases have occurred in California.
Yet, despite evidence linking the illnesses to fresh chicken parts manufactured by Foster Farms, nothing has been done to force the company to recall its products; not by local health agencies, nor the USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service, which claims it “lacks the definitive proof needed to force Foster Farms to stop selling the meat.”
Tauxe also told NBC News that there is “no requirement that raw meat and poultry be salmonella free,” and warns consumers to make sure they wash it and cook it thoroughly before consumption. He also urged them to make sure they keep uncooked poultry away from other foods that might be contaminated, and to be sure to adequately clean or surfaces and utensils (as well as their own hands) that come in contact it.
Symptoms of salmonella poisoning include fever, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and abdominl pain. Treatment of salmonella Heidelberg depends on the severity of symptoms as well as on patients’ age and other health conditions (i.e. diabetes), although all need to be kept sufficiently hydrated with non-sugar drinks as these may increase dehydration as well as cause worse diarrhea.
To learn more, readers can call their local health department or contact the Centers for Disease Control