Coalition of Consumer Groups Call for Foster Farms Food Recall Due to Salmonella Outbreak
A coalition of consumer groups has demanded that the US Department of Agriculture to issue a food recall for Foster Farms chicken products due to salmonella contagion, which has already sickened 317 people across the United States and Puerto Rico.
The Safe Food Coalition (SFC), a collection of eight different consumer groups, addressed a letter to the USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack on Thursday, October 17th, requesting a food recall of Foster Farms chicken, because no official recall has been issued yet, and the manufacturer has not officially recalled any of their chicken, despite salmonella contagion. The letter also offered seven steps that the agency could use to “strengthen its regulatory program.”
“We appreciate that in the absence of a definitive link between illnesses and specific product, FSIS took action by issuing a public health alert to notify the public about Foster Farms’ association to the outbreak,” the SFC wrote. “However, considering the number of people sickened by this outbreak, the high hospitalization rate, the antibiotic-resistant strains of Salmonella, FSIS’ testing results in the plants, and the fact that the outbreak is ongoing, we question why a recall did not occur.”
According to the latest statistics around the salmonella outbreak, at least 42% of the people infected with salmonella have been hospitalized. In testing, the USDA has discovered that nearly 25% of samples were positive for salmonella.
Last week, the USDA announced that it would not shut down all Foster Farms plants, nor force the company to issue a food recall for its chicken. However, some retail sellers, like Costco, have issued their own food recalls due to contaminated chicken products, including some cooked chicken.
The SFC also requested that the USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) require all poultry plants, not just Foster Farms, to review their outbreak and contamination plans, called HACCP plans. Foster Farms plan currently says specifically that salmonella is not a hazard to their plants.
The group also said that “adequately cooking chicken” is not good enough advice. They suggested the FSIS request powers from Congress to force food recalls, enforce performance standards, and apply financial penalties to those who allow adulterated products to go to market.
Food Recall and Defective Product Lawyers at the Strom Law Firm
Many manufacturers do their best to produce high-quality food, medical, and recreational equipment. However, some companies do not pay close enough attention to the manufacturing process, and can release products on the market that cause great personal injury. While the FDA and USDA issue product and food recalls on a regular basis, they do not always catch defects in time to prevent consumers from coming to harm, especially in food-borne outbreaks such as listeria, e. Coli, and salmonella. It is important to hold manufacturers to a higher standard, and a defective products lawyer can help when a food recall has not been issued in time. The Columbia, South Carolina-based attorneys at the Strom Law Firm are licensed to practice in South Carolina, Georgia, and New York, to help you with your personal injury or defective product claim. We offer free consultations to discuss the facts of your case, so contact us today for help. 803.252.4800.