Girardi | Keese

Despite government shutdown, USDA handling salmonella scare

Back on July 1, the Centers for Disease Control alerted the USDA's Food and Safety Inspection Service to a growing number of salmonella cases across the United States. At that time, 18 people had become sick across four states with the food-borne illness and the agency feared more were soon to follow. After pegging Foster Farms as the possible link between the cases, the FSIS began site sampling at facilities on September 9. But determining the source of the contamination would take time.

When the government shut down two weeks ago, many people across the nation, including here in California, feared that the investigation would be halted and the number of illnesses would spread. In a recent statement released by the USDA though, the agency reaffirmed that its top priority was consumer safety and ensured people that it believed it had remedied the situation.

According to the USDA, Foster Farms has submitted an action plan to remedy the concerns found by USDA inspections. Per the plan, national food safety experts have been brought in to assess slaughtering processes and Foster Farms has promised to address any safety concerns immediately so as to ensure no one else is injured as a result of their products.

With the source of the contamination determined and a completed USDA investigation, the more than 270 people who fell ill from salmonella poisoning may now finally be able to seek compensation for their injuries with the help of a products liability suit. As readers of our blog know, money received in such a suit can be used to pay hospital bills as well as help subsidize an income, especially if a person was away from work because of their illness. This may be the case for many of the people who became ill as a result of a food-safety violation.

Source: Fox News, "USDA demands action in salmonella outbreak," Oct. 12, 2013

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