Foster Farms chicken is the suspected source of a salmonella outbreak.
Reports have been flying over the internet that there's a salmonella food poisoning outbreak from contaminated chicken, but don't worry. It's true that the government shut down has closed CDC labs that could identify the source of the contaminated chicken, but don't worry. It's true that the government's food inspection service is hamstrung by the shut down, but don't worry.
“FSIS is unable to link the illnesses to a specific product and a specific production period,” the agency said in an emailed alert. “The outbreak is continuing.”
Foster Farms, the suspected source of the contaminated chicken says they have everything under control, so don't worry.
This is the exact situation that CDC and other about-to-be-furloughed federal personnel warned about last week. As a reminder, a CDC staffer told me at the time:
I know that we will not be conducting multi-state outbreak investigations. States may continue to find outbreaks, but we won’t be doing the cross-state consultation and laboratory work to link outbreaks that might cross state borders.
FOSTER FARMS WORKING WITH FSIS AND CDC TO ADDRESS SALMONELLA ASSOCIATED WITH RAW POULTRY PRODUCTS REPORTEDLY LINKED TO THREE CALIFORNIA FACILITIES
No Recall is in Effect. Products are Safe to Consume if Properly Handled and Fully Cooked.
LIVINGSTON, Calif. - Food safety is Foster Farms’ highest priority. Foster Farms is working in partnership with USDA Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) and Atlanta-based Centers for Disease Control (CDC) to reduce incidence of Salmonella Heidelberg on raw chicken products produced at three company facilities in Central California. Only raw chicken products are involved. This activity is in response to an FSIS-issued alert regarding the increased incidence of Salmonella Heidelberg infection caused by eating undercooked or improperly handled chicken.
Don't worry because no one is putting a gun to your head and forcing you to eat chicken, hamburger, ground turkey or any other meat that is a frequent source of food poisoning. You have no way of knowing these meats are safe to eat while the government is shut down, so don't eat them if you are concerned about food poisoning.