Earlier this month, California meat processor Foster Farms was pinpointed as the source of a salmonella outbreak that sickened consumers in 18 states. The outbreak, which began in March, has infected almost 300 people with an antibiotic-resistant strain of Salmonella Heidelberg, which can cause severe and dangerous food poisoning.
This week, a Costco store in South San Francisco announced that they were recalling approximately 40,000 pounds of chicken that had been sold in their store. The chicken apparently originated in the Foster Farms factories, and could contain the salmonella bacteria. One Costco customer has apparently already been sickened by the tainted chicken; there is no word on that person's current condition.
The recalled chicken includes 8,730 rotisserie chickens that were apparently cooked in the store. The sickened customer was apparently infected after eating one of these store-cooked rotisserie chickens.
A Costco vice president claimed that the meat should have been safe, and that the rotisserie chicken had been thoroughly cooked. He suggested that there could have been some sort of cross-contamination that led to the infection. Salmonella is normally killed when the meat is cooked well enough.
The rotisserie chicken was not the only potentially dangerous product included in the recall. The recall also included 313 units of chicken soup, chicken legs and chicken salad. All affected products were purchased between Sept. 11 and Sept. 23.
Producers and processers of meat products have a responsibility to ensure that their products are safe for consumption. Salmonella can be destroyed very easily, by simply following normal, accepted cooking practices. A salmonella infection, therefore, suggests that a producer or a restaurant were negligent in their responsibility to cook their food properly, presenting a danger to consumers.
Source: The Huffington Post, "California Costco Recalls 40,000 Pounds Of Chicken After Salmonella Contamination Sickens Customer" Robin Wilkey, Oct. 14, 2013