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America’s Food Safety System Failed to Stop a Salmonella Epidemic. It’s Still Making People Sick.

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  • America’s Food Safety System Failed to Stop a Salmonella Epidemic. It’s Still Making People Sick.

    October 29, 2021
    by Bernice Yeung, Michael Grabell, Irena Hwang and Mollie Simon

    ... With a public health threat unfolding across the country, you might have expected federal regulators to act swiftly and decisively to warn the public, recall the contaminated poultry and compel changes at chicken plants. Or that federal investigators would pursue the root cause of the outbreak wherever the evidence led.

    None of that happened.

    Instead, the team at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention closed the outbreak investigation nine months later even though people were continuing to get sick. The U.S. Department of Agriculture, which oversees meat and poultry, was not only powerless to act but said nothing to consumers about the growing threat. So supermarkets and restaurants continued selling chicken tainted with drug-resistant infantis.

    And they continue to do so today.

    An eight-month ProPublica investigation into this once rare, but now pervasive form of Salmonella found that its unchecked spread through the U.S. food supply was all but inevitable, the byproduct of a baffling and largely toothless food safety system that is ill-equipped to protect consumers or rebuff industry influence. ...

    Consumers may get the impression that the meat and poultry they find at supermarkets is safe because it bears the USDA seal of approval. But the agency doesn’t prohibit companies from selling chicken contaminated with dangerous Salmonella like infantis. And even when people get sick, it has no power to order recalls.

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    Chicken Checker 🐔🦃

    See how often salmonella was found at the plant that processed your chicken or turkey.

    by Andrea Suozzo, Ash Ngu, Michael Grabell and Bernice Yeung

    Oct. 29, 2021

    Find the P-number on a package of raw chicken or turkey.

    We’ll show you how often the USDA found salmonella at the plant that processed it.