People are Still Getting Sick from Poultry Farm Salmonella Outbreak

An antibiotic-resistant salmonella outbreak linked to a California poultry farm broke out in October. Six months later, it's still getting people sick.

Although regulations dictate that eating salmonella-infected chicken is safe when cooked above a certain temperature, the CDC says that at least 524 people became ill after eating the tainted poultry.

According to the AP:

Though no one has died, the CDC says the outbreak strains have been resistant to several commonly prescribed antibiotics, and 37 percent of those infected have been hospitalized, a higher rate than normal. More than three-quarters of the 524 reported illnesses are from California, according to the CDC.

The outbreak was linked to three Foster Farms processing plants in California—one of which was shut down due to an ongoing cockroach infestation in January. Authorities say the strains of Salmonella Heidelberg are resistant to commonly prescribed antibiotics.

On Wednesday, cockroaches were observed at a sink across from a processing line, with "exposed product" on the slaughterhouse floor, the notice said. On Tuesday, live cockroaches were on a plastic tub that came into contact with chicken. Inspectors also cited the plant for noncompliance on Dec. 28, Nov. 4 and Sept. 14 after roaches were observed during production.

According to the LA Times, USDA officials declined to ask the company to issue a recall. Foster Farms says it has changed its method of handling chicken to reduce contamination rates in the future.

[image via Shutterstock]