December 19th, 2013
11:30 AM ET
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Salmonellosis is a nasty illness. People infected with Salmonella develop diarrhea, a fever and abdominal cramps that usually last for four to seven days.

The dangerous bacteria is found in the food we eat, usually chicken, beef or eggs that have been contaminated with animal feces. And a new report from Pew Charitable Trusts says the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) isn't doing enough to keep our food Salmonella-free.

"When more than 500 people get sick from two outbreaks associated with chicken that meets federal safety standards, it is clear that those standards are not effectively protecting public health," Sandra Eskin, director of Pew's food safety project, said in a statement.

Every year, approximately 42,000 cases of salmonellosis are reported in the United States, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, but the actual number of infections may be much higher. The majority of outbreaks over the last two decades have been linked to live poultry.

Read - Report: USDA should do more to fight salmonella

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Filed under: Food Safety • Health News • News • Salmonella • Tainted Food

soundoff (8 Responses)
  1. Diane

    Reports like this make me worried about the future of farming in the U.S. It's like people have absolutely no clue about how to protect themselves so they cry and moan to the have the government pass more and more rules. More rules means more costs to the farmer which then gets passed on the consumer. Well I'll give you a news flash. Chicken often is contaminated with Salmonella. It just is. I raise a small number of chickens on pasture every year (about 100, enough for my family and few friends). We butcher our chickens ourselves. But I am not delusional. My chickens have just as much chance of being contaminated with Salmonella as those that come from the big farms / processors. Maybe more so because they are living in the outdoor environment where there are wild birds and other varmints running around. It is very very difficult to prevent 100%. But if you COOK your chicken thoroughly and if you learn how to NOT cross contaminate your kitchen, you won't get sick. This is a problem that needs to be addressed at the consumer level not at the farmer / producer level. Many of the small farmers in my area that sell to the public are going out of business because it is too expensive for the small business to absorb the cost of regulations. I love supporting small local farmers, but there soon will not be any that are willing to sell to the public. Our food supply will then only come from large farms and overseas. That is what more regulation will buy you.

    December 19, 2013 at 2:19 pm |
  2. Shara Bingham Mills

    Businesses should, that's why there is all the crap in our meat. They aren't interested in our health, businesses just want to make profits without social responsibility. They have done this to the tune of antibiotic resistance and supper bugs. Due to short sighted government rules in the FDA, lack of staff and funding, they got so far away with what they were adding to our food, no other countries want to touch the stuff. You keep eating that rotten meat though Mr and Mrs Rah Rah, USA. We will buy organic from local farms. I'm tiered of throwing money away on meat that comes out of the corporate hell holes they call meat producers at this scale.

    December 19, 2013 at 1:49 pm |
    • Gregory Jett

      Thanks for the good thinking !

      December 19, 2013 at 2:22 pm |
  3. Ian Welch

    No matter how the food industry spins it, you can’t get away from the deluge of news regarding the horrendous quality of meat in the U.S. The sources are not bloggers and hippies. The studies are peer-reviewed with massive study groups. Our own government, the last place you go for unbiased opinions, has recently made overt moves towards a diet less reliant on animals. No amount of lobbying can hold back the stream of research confirming the obvious. Meat is a “killing industry” for everyone involved.
    Right off the bat let me identify my agenda. I had quadruple bypass surgery at the age of 40, in 2011. Prior to that day, I ate meat once a day. I have done my research and I directly attribute my heart disease to the Standard American Diet. In the recovery ward, I was fed sausages, eggs, milk and turkey and slowly began to understand the bubble I was living in. By a miracle, I was presented with a very simple solution to my immediate problem.
    Animals are a source of protein. They are not the only source of protein.
    The animals being eaten today by Americans are in terrible shape, and represent a very poor quality of nutrition. Organic, free range, lean… blah, blah, blah. Six states have made it a crime to film animal suffering because they absolutely don’t want you to see beyond the pretty cellophane package in your freezer. The meat is inedible. If you saw the cow or chicken you are about to eat, you wouldn’t touch it, much less eat it.
    “If slaughterhouses had glass walls, everyone would be vegetarian.” – Sir Paul McCartney
    Do you honestly feel that an animal raised in a pen/crate, with no exercise, no sunlight, surrounded by feces, eating byproduct feed, injected with growth hormones, antidepressants and massive amounts of antibiotics, then slaughtered, sprayed with chlorine, full of death stress hormones is a good food decision? If so, don’t read any further.
    Not eating meat is not a casual decision anymore; it’s a matter of life or death.
    Full Post:

    Ian Welch

    December 19, 2013 at 1:40 pm |
  4. Tbike

    Don't you mean that BUSINESSES that raise and process chickens are not doing enough to keep the product safe? Why should the government be responsible for that?

    December 19, 2013 at 12:55 pm |
    • Bert Pace

      I would think the answer should be obvious for most.

      December 19, 2013 at 1:58 pm |
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