Thursday, August 21, 2014
FAIRFIELD-SUISUN, CALIFORNIA
99 CENTS

Tainted chicken in Calif. still making people sick

By
From page A5 | May 29, 2014 |

WASHINGTON — An outbreak of antibiotic-resistant salmonella linked to a California chicken producer continues to sicken people more than a year after it started.

Despite the illnesses, producer Foster Farms has not initiated a recall, and the government has no apparent plans to shut it down.

The federal Centers for Disease Control says there were 50 new illnesses in the last two months, bringing to 574 the total number of cases in the outbreak. Most of the illnesses are in California.

Though centered on the West Coast, the outbreak is widespread — victims came from 27 states and Puerto Rico.

The Agriculture Department says it is closely monitoring Foster Farms facilities and that measured rates of salmonella in the company’s products have been going down. The department threatened to shut down Foster Farms’ facilities last year but let them stay open after the company said it had made immediate changes to reduce salmonella rates.

Food safety advocates say it is long past time to pressure the company for a recall and to shut down production.

“It’s very unclear why USDA isn’t taking more action to stop the sale of the product and protect the public,” says Caroline Smith DeWaal of the Center for Science in the Public Interest.

Foster Farms said this week that it has put new measures in place, including tighter screening of birds, improved safety on the farms where the birds are raised and better sanitation in its plants. The company suggested that the recent cases may be because salmonella incidence increases in the warmer months.

Dealing with outbreaks is nothing new for Foster Farms. The company was linked to salmonella illnesses in 2004 and then again in 2011, before the current outbreak, which started in 2013.

In a letter from USDA to Foster Farms last October, the department said inspectors had documented “fecal material on carcasses” along with “poor sanitary dressing practices, insanitary food contact surfaces, insanitary nonfood contact surfaces and direct product contamination.”

In January, USDA inspectors briefly closed a Foster Farms plant after finding cockroaches.

Recalls of poultry contaminated with salmonella are tricky because the law allows raw chicken to have a certain amount of salmonella — a rule that consumer advocates have long lobbied to change. Because salmonella is so prevalent in poultry and is killed if consumers cook it properly, the government has not declared it to be an “adulterant,” or illegal, in meat, as is E. coli. Outbreaks of salmonella in poultry can take longer to discover and recalls don’t happen as quickly.

Because of those rules, USDA would likely have to go through the courts if it decided to force a recall.

In a statement, USDA spokeswoman Catherine Cochran said the outbreak “has persisted for far too long without a solution.” She said the agency is continuing to investigate the illnesses, “including the possibility that they may be caused by other sources.”

The CDC, however, is focused on Foster Farms. The agency said three-fourths of victims who were able to provide the CDC with brand information said they had consumed chicken produced by Foster Farms before becoming ill.

The CDC said 37 percent of victims were hospitalized and 13 percent of the victims had developed blood infections, almost three times the normal rate.

The CDC’s Ian Williams says they are seeing a slow decline in the number of illnesses. “It suggests to us that they are starting to address the problem,” Williams says.

However, Williams says many more people have likely been sickened than are reported — the CDC routinely multiplies reported cases by 20 to 30, meaning up to 17,000 people could have been infected in the current outbreak.

USDA has not released a comprehensive list of where Foster Farms is sold. Last year, Costco and Kroger-owned stores took Foster Farms products off their shelves. Neither company responded to a request for comment on whether they are selling it again.

Foster Farms also did not respond to a request for comment on retail outlets.

Rick Schiller of San Jose, California, says he became severely ill last September after baking and eating some Foster Farms chicken he had in his freezer. He eventually ended up in the hospital, and says he still has weakness on the right side of his body due to complications from his treatment.

“It should have been recalled a long time ago,” Schiller says. “The government is just dropping the ball and people could lose their lives over this.”

The Associated Press

The Associated Press

LEAVE A COMMENT

Discussion | No comments

The Daily Republic does not necessarily condone the comments here, nor does it review every post. Read our full policy

.

Solano News

First day back to school brings laughter, jitters

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A1 | Gallery

 
Potrero Hills Landfill legal appeals exhausted

By Barry Eberling | From Page: A1

Railroad crossing stalemate continues

By Barry Eberling | From Page: A1

 
Breakfast after the Bell wins support

By Mayrene Bates | From Page: A2

Fairfield candidates hear about lean, nimble city staff

By Ryan McCarthy | From Page: A3 | Gallery

 
 
Suisun city employees get pay raise

By Ian Thompson | From Page: A3

Girls on the Run seeks volunteer life coaches

By Ian Thompson | From Page: A4

 
College finalizes police department takeover, OKs bond plan

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: A4

 
Free e-waste collection to benefit Scarlet Brigade

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A4

Fairfield mayor to appear at GOP dinner

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A4

 
Fairfield police log: Aug. 19, 2014

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A10

Suisun City police log: Aug. 19, 2014

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A10

 
Weather for Aug. 21, 2014

By Daily Republic | From Page: B10

.

US / World

Governor criticizes new-hire pension enhancements

By The Associated Press | From Page: A1

 
US mission to rescue hostages in Syria failed

By The Associated Press | From Page: A1

US official: More airstrikes in Iraq

By The Associated Press | From Page: A1

 
Beheading spurs new attacks on Islamic militants

By The Associated Press | From Page: A1

Militants use British killer as propaganda

By The Associated Press | From Page: A1

 
School sorry for making special ed kids sort trash

By The Associated Press | From Page: A4

Police seek mystery pair in selfies after burglary

By The Associated Press | From Page: A4

 
Teens deny threatening boy in school shooting plot

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

Panel OKs state librarian despite initial concerns

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

 
Navy kicks out 34 for nuke cheating

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

CHP says officer may face serious beating charges

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

 
8 homes destroyed, 1,500 threatened by wildfire

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

Drought has state debating its unregulated pumping

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

 
Holder says he understands mistrust of police

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

Liberian slums barricaded as Ebola sets new record

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

 
North Korea insults John Kerry over his looks

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

Ukrainian govt troops take over much of Luhansk

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

 
Picture emerges of officer in Ferguson shooting

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

.

Opinion

 
Tell the story, don’t be it

By Ruben Navarrette | From Page: A7

Everyone can benefit from ‘the talk’

By Kelvin Wade | From Page: A7

 
We’re spending way too much on raising our kids

By Megan Mcardle | From Page: A7

Editorial Cartoons: Aug. 21, 2014

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A7

 
California needs pedestrian-friendly neighborhoods

By Letter to the Editor | From Page: A7

.

Living

Today in History: Aug. 21, 2014

By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

 
Community Calendar: Aug. 21, 2014

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A2

Horoscopes: Aug. 21, 2014

By Holiday Mathis | From Page: A9

 
Why do parents drink alcohol after their children’s games?

By Kathy Mitchell and Marcy Sugar | From Page: A9

.

Entertainment

TVGrid

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A5

 
And the Emmy winners are…? We’re happy to guess!

By The Associated Press | From Page: A6 | Gallery

Aniston, Hamm, Hudson set to Stand Up to Cancer

By The Associated Press | From Page: A6

 
Emmys: Billy Crystal to pay tribute to Williams

By The Associated Press | From Page: A6 | Gallery

.

Sports

Peavy pitches Giants to 8-3 win over Cubs

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

 
WR Stevie Johnson adds depth to 49ers

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

Fairfield boxer Avila set to put perfect 15-0 record on the line

By Brian Arnold | From Page: B1 | Gallery

 
Giants win protest, rain-shortened game to resume Thursday

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

A’s stumble and must regroup with Angels coming

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

 
Raiders FB Reece’s injury not as bad as feared

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1 | Gallery

Las Vegas spoils Mo’ne’s night, beats Philly 8-1

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2 | Gallery

 
Sharks F Torres undergoes surgery on right knee

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

US routs Dominicans in exhibition as Rose rests

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Schilling blames chewing tobacco for mouth cancer

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Reality check for Phelps at Pan Pacific Champs

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Kent State starting center dies at 21

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Serena Williams seeded No. 1 at US Open; Halep 2nd

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Tony Stewart skipping 3rd straight race after Ward’s death

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2 | Gallery

This date in sports history for Thursday, Aug. 21, 2014

By The Associated Press | From Page: B4

 
Sports on TV for Thursday, Aug. 21, 2014

By Paul Farmer | From Page: B4

.

Business

Brine firm sues over biblical fracking billboard

By The Associated Press | From Page: B5

 
Apple’s stock bounces back to hit a new high

By The Associated Press | From Page: B5

BofA reaches $17B settlement with US

By The Associated Press | From Page: B5

 
.

Obituaries

George ‘Wayne’ Hause

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

 
Sharon Ilene Boyd

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

David G. Gibson

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

 
Charles (Chuck) H. Doty

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A4

.

Comics

Baldo

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
Pickles

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

Garfield

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
Sally Forth

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

Wizard of Id

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
Rose is Rose

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

Zits

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
Peanuts

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

Blondie

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
Dilbert

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

Frank and Ernest

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
For Better or Worse

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

Beetle Bailey

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
Get Fuzzy

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

Baby Blues

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
B.C.

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

Crossword

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A9

 
Sudoku

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A9

Word Sleuth

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A9

 
Cryptoquote

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A9

Bridge

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A9