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Unsanitary Foster Farms facilities implicated in antibiotic-resistant salmonella outbreak

Posted: October 10, 2013 |   Comments

( An outbreak of antibiotic-resistant salmonella has the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) considering closing three California poultry plants operated by Foster Farms. The outbreak has sickened at least 279 people nationwide, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said that 42 percent of those sickened have been hospitalized. According to the Seattle Times, the USDA sent a letter to Foster Farms on Monday saying that "sanitary conditions at the facilities were so poor that they posed a 'serious ongoing threat to public health.'"

The excessive use of antibiotics in the poultry industry is being blamed for the antibiotic-resistance seen in some strains of salmonella. The USDA has ordered Foster Farms to develop a plan by Thursday to clean up the poultry plants. No recalls have been issued, but Kroger announced that it would pull chicken from the three plants off of their grocery shelves.

The poultry from the plants are marked with USDA inspection numbers P6137, P6137A or P7632. Thoroughly cooking chicken to at least 165 degrees Fahrenheit will kill salmonella. Use separate cutting boards and avoid washing poultry in the sink as an extra precaution, as doing so could spread bacteria.

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