No More Salmonella

Salmonella Bacteria
Salmonella Bacteria (Photo credit: NIAID)

No More Salmonella

This is not a problem that requires deep analysis. What’s in the balance? On one side, people’s lives and health and on the other profits from selling chicken. I think holding the industry to higher inspection standards is not going to double the price of chicken. This is not a problem that can’t be successfully dealt with. Let’s have the poultry industry finance a testing program to eliminate salmonella contamination. If other nations can do it, certainly we can.

It’s good business ethics to protect one of the principle stakeholders in your business, the consumer. We may safely assume that sickening or killing your customer base is unethical, and probably unwise.

Some will claim that the market will solve this problem, a concept I have ridiculed with some regularity. People will stop buying chicken from a company when that chicken makes them sick?

But the average consumer doesn’t know which chicken brands are safe and which are not. The safety can vary from one shipment of chickens to another from the same company. It’s a job only the government can take on. We, as consumers, cannot police the market. We may not often know what’s making us sick.

We live in the richest nation on earth. Surely we can afford to inspect chicken for salmonella poisoning.

James Pilant

Keeping salmonella out of chicken

Sweden has virtually eliminated salmonella in store-bought chicken, even though poultry there is industrially produced, just like in the United States. And even in this country, a 2010 Consumers Union study found no salmonella in the organic store-brand chickens it tested.

In other words, consumers shouldn’t have to accept salmonella-tainted chicken as just one of those unavoidable things. Yet that wasn’t the attitude of Foster Farms and the U.S. Department of Agriculture in response to the recent salmonella outbreak that sickened more than 300 people, most of them in California, and sent close to half to hospitals with antibiotic-resistant infections. Foster Farms refused to recall the suspect chicken shipped from its problem plants, saying that salmonella-tainted poultry is safe to eat if thoroughly cooked. The USDA refused to close the plants on the grounds that, unlike certain strains of E. coli, salmonella is not an adulterant, a poisonous or harmful substance.

From later in the article –

For too long in the United States, the agriculture industry has successfully pushed and prodded Congress and regulatory agencies into accepting practices that are literally sickening to the public. At minimum, we could begin to improve food safety by declaring salmonella an adulterant so that the USDA and agricultural operations are compelled to recall infected products.

From around the web.

From the web site, Salmonella enterica WILL RULE THE WORLD. (This purports to be Salmonella’s actual web site – I had no idea bacteria could type!)

Hi, I’m Salmonella enterica! I’m plotting my way to rule the world, so if you don’t watch out… One of my masses of minions will INFECT YOUR SOUL. BWAHAHA. Ahem.

I’m a gram negative rod, and I’m working hard on mutating so I can
infect you no matter what you are! My goal isn’t a W death curve that
everyone seems so worked up about… MY GOAL IS TOTAL INFECTION. EVERYONE

So far, I’ve gotten a decent amount of publication, but in the
future, No One will be able to deny my Very Impressive and Unavoidable
Impact on Everyday Life. I’m thinking of making this plan into the
acronym: NOVIUIE. Sounds evil. And French, with all the nasty letters
at the end for no apparent reason.

For right now, however, while people still have preventative measures
and disgusting medicines to combat my existence (as well as some odd
resistance here and there).. I plan to lay low and infect without
conscious effort. I mean, I keep my publicity up every now and then, but
that’s just because I can’t STAND being out of the spotlight for too

From the same web site, Salmonella enterica WILL RULE THE WORLD. (Apparently bacteria can type but aren’t that much into spelling and capitalization, although they do like emoticons. jp)

curse this Swine flu thing! Such an attention hogger! :( These emerging diseases all think they’re little hot-shots, I swear! I was an emerging disease once!

I have History! I have a Track Record! People haven’t gotten rid of me yet!

“The CDC estimates that 1.4 million cases occur annually (CDC, 2005, October 13). ” –About Salmonella


*disgruntled * I used to be a real big deal with that Typhoid Mary Lady. Maybe it’ll happen all over again.