In recent months, there’s been a major outbreak of Salmonella Heidelberg, one of the types of Salmonella bacterium that causes illness in people. What’s especially worrisome is that the Salmonella Heidelberg strains that have afflicted hundreds of people in the recent outbreak are resistant to several common antibiotics.
An ongoing investigation conducted by the CDC shows a likely link between this outbreak and California-based facilities operated by Foster Farms, a company that sells chicken products. Consumption of Foster Farms chicken products may cause people to fall ill with this serious disease.
As of the end of February, 481 cases have been reported from 25 states – 76% of them from California alone (on top of that, there are likely additional cases that have gone unreported). And while thankfully there have so far been no fatalities on record, 38% of the cases required hospitalization; because the strains of Salmonella Heidelberg are especially virulent and resistant to multiple antibiotics, they increase the chances that people will need to be hospitalized.
Raw poultry is known to sometimes have Salmonella bacteria; however, it’s less common to come across a drug-resistant strain. One has to wonder about the standards of safety and cleanliness of the facilities that prepare these chicken products for public consumption. Earlier this year, the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) shut down one Foster plant in Livingston, California after finding live cockroaches there on multiple occasions.
What are some of their possible effects of food poisoning resulting from Salmonella?
- Strong abdominal cramps
- Nausea and vomiting
- Muscle pains
Severe symptoms can require hospitalization; for instance, severe diarrhea may lead to dehydration if left untreated. Salmonella infection can also spread from the intestines to the bloodstream and to other places in the body, a potentially deadly development. Even among healthy adults, the disease can persist for several days. Children, elderly adults, and people who have a compromised immune system are more susceptible to severe forms of the disease. Sometimes, complications from Salmonella infection may last for years.
If you’ve experienced this kind of food poisoning, consider contacting a reputable food poisoning attorney. You don’t need to struggle alone with medical bills, financial losses from missed work, and the effects of reduced quality of life. Any parties responsible for your illness need to be held accountable for the preventable dangers they inflicted on the public.