Analysis

Documents Outline Foster Farms Flaws First Highlighted by Pew

Documents obtained by the Natural Resources Defense Council detail more than 200 health and safety violations at California chicken plants linked to two outbreaks of Salmonella infection that were the subject of a 2013 report by Pew’s safe food project.

According to The Washington Post, the documents show that, from September 2013 to March 2014, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety Inspection Service (FSIS) observed more than 200 violations at Foster Farms plants linked to the outbreaks. FSIS issued a public health alert for Foster Farms chicken in October 2013—about seven months after the second outbreak began. But, except for a short period in January 2014, the agency did not suspend production at the facilities, even as it documented health hazards such as the presence of mold, fecal matter, and cockroaches.

Chicken produced by Foster Farms was identified as the source of an antibiotic-resistant Salmonella strain that infected at least 634 people in 29 states and Puerto Rico, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

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