Food Safety

Family awarded $6.5 million in Salmonella chicken case

Here's what happened after a poultry processor distributed contaminated meat that led to an outbreak.

Earlier this month, an Arizona federal court awarded a family $6.5 million (gross amount) as compensation for a foodborne illness case. The outcome is the first ever of its kind, specifically for the poultry industry.

Posted on Food Safety Magazine

The Problem

The child suffered an internal brain injury as the result of a Salmonella Heidelberg infection, reportedly caused by eating chicken produced by Foster Farms. An outbreak was investigated by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in 2014.

The Plaintiff’s/Family’s Argument

Evidence was produced proving that the presence of Salmonella Heidelberg at Foster Farms was the norm, including the exact strain that sickened the child. Also, a history of negligence was apparent due to other foodborne illness outbreaks that Foster Farms had been connected to. In this particular Salmonella Heidelberg outbreak, 639 people from 29 states were sickened from March 1, 2013 to July 11, 2014, according to the CDC.

Now, poultry producers can be held liable for contaminated meat they produce, despite the fact that the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) does not necessarily consider Salmonella an “adulterant” in raw chicken.

Read entire article Family of 5-Year-Old Awarded $6.5 Million in Salmonella Chicken Case | Food Safety Magazine

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