The recent salmonella outbreak has left many to ask the question:
“Should I stop eating chicken?”
And it’s a question that deserves some thought.
Salmonella has been getting a flurry of press recently, as contaminated chicken has sickened more than 300 people, sending 40% of those affected to the hospital, and many to find their antibiotics ineffective against the bacterium.
Is it smart to avoid chicken all together? We should at least steer clear of Foster Farms chicken, or other brands that were produced in the California plants, which have been found to contain contaminants even after cooking.
The strain of salmonella, Heidelberg, is particularly nasty and resistant to many forms of antibiotics.
Even Costco has reacted to the contamination, pulling over 9,000 chickens from Northern California shelves, even after cooking the chickens to 180 degrees. Which would apparently kill all traces of salmonella.
Despite warnings, the USDA has done little to remove the contaminated chickens from the marketplace.
The USDA isn’t only to blame…The FDA, knowing that manufacturers grow animals in breeding grounds for disease, continue allow them to feed the animals antibiotics from the moment of birth until death. This drug use has led to new, antibiotic resistance bacteria, reducing such antibiotic effectiveness when used by sick humans.
In order to improve the situation, manufacturing will need to change, adapt, and develop cleaner methods for producing their livestock. Pumping animals full of antibiotic is no longer a solution, even for us humans.
Claude A. Wyle is a partner of Choulos Choulos, and Wyle, a San Francisco based law firm dedicated to representing clients who have been injured by the wrongful conduct of individuals, corporations, public entities, and businesses. Mr. Wyle also frequently sits as a Judge Pro Tem for the city and county of San Francisco.