HERD ABOUT IT? by ana grarian
Nearly 300 people in 18 states have been sickened since about July by an outbreak of Salmonella Heidelberg traced to raw chicken from three sites run by the private California poultry producer Foster Farms, said Barbara Reynolds, a spokeswoman for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
JoNel Aleccia NBC News 10/8/2013 http://tinyurl.com/jvpxy2a
Let’s be clear here. This outbreak has not been CAUSED by the shutdown.
It was already happening!
It was happening because we raise and process chickens in industrial conditions that are so unhealthy the chickens are fed antibiotics and poisons such as arsenic (F.D.A. Bans Three (out of four) Arsenic Drugs Used in Poultry and Pig Feeds), in order to prevent disease and promote growth. (How bad are the arsenic levels in chicken manure? Bad enough that substantial levels of arsenic were found in rice fertilized with chicken manure.) Chicken is also sprayed with ammonia during processing to attempt to kill off the bacteria. In addition we are warned to wash the chicken we buy, not to let it come into contact with our countertops, wash our hands as if we were surgeons, and to thoroughly cook it to kill off any bacteria that still remains. Maybe we should wear surgical masks or hazmat suits too?
Many of the infections seem to be from antibiotic resistant strains of the bacteria.
At least seven different strains of Salmonella Heidelberg have been tied to the outbreak, which led CDC officials on Tuesday to recall 30 staffers, including 10 who work for the agency’s team, which monitors the electronic fingerprint of dangerous foodborne bugs. They’d been on furlough because of a government shutdown stretching into its second week. The CDC had already been monitoring this outbreak – and 29 others – BEFORE they were shutdown.
Unable to identify specific products or a specific production period for the potentially tainted chicken, the Food Safety and Inspection Service said that affected meat bears one of three establishment numbers inside a USDA inspection mark or elsewhere on the package.The numbers are P6137, P6137A & P7632.
(Foster Farms is a West Coast poultry producer with plants in
Oregon, Washington, California and Alabama.)
I am old enough to remember when we did not have to be this afraid of our food, and this in a day when most folks actually cooked from scratch, and some even butchered their own. Yes of course raw meat and eggs have been well known to have the potential to make you sick if not handled and cooked adequately. In the old days we were mostly concerned about contamination of our food from us and our things. Hence we were instructed to wash our hands and the prep surface, and to use clean utensils. Now we are being told to wash in order to remove the hazards from US being contaminated by our food. We are sold knives and cutting boards, color coordinated so we don’t cut chicken on a surface, using a knife, that had previously touched beef. What the heck? Jeepers. We used to cut our venison up on the kitchen table and wrap and freeze it ourselves. Maybe we need to get back to that.