Calls made to shut down Foster Farms facilities
Following the recall announcement from Foster Farms in the wake of a Salmonella outbreak in the US, two members of Congress are calling on federal agriculture officials to shut down all poultry plants of the company.
Rep. Rosa DeLauro, D-Conn., and Rep. Louise Slaughter, D-N.Y. want the company's facilities to be shut down until the outbreak that has sickened more than 600 people is resolved.
Currently, at least 621 people in 29 states and Puerto Rico have been sickened by Salmonella Heidelberg tied to Foster Farms chicken since March 2013.
Although, FSIS officials have said they acted as quickly as they could, DeLauro and Slaughter have introduced legislation that would require food recalls during such outbreaks. The bill, called the Pathogens Reduction and Testing Reform Act, would require USDA to recall any meat, poultry or egg product contaminated by pathogens that can cause serious illness or death, or that are resistant to two or more antibiotics critical to treating human illness.
Meanwhile, Food Safety Lawyer Bill Marler has commended the company for finally taking action. Seattle food safety attorney Marler, who is representing a California man allegedly sickened by the salmonella outbreak, has been following the outbreak since the beginning.
"There have been instances where responsible companies have recalled their products, even where they were not linked to a particular illness. Those recalls were voluntary, out of a concern to get the product off the market and help prevent people from becoming sick," Marler said. "This is the first time Foster Farms has done a recall of its chicken products over salmonella – ever."
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