Article posted Wednesday, October 16, 2013 10:25pm

A salmonella outbreak in Foster Farms chicken spread to 17 states during the government shutdown. One case was found in Wisconsin. The Centers for Disease Control (CDC), the department that deals with multi-state foodborne illness outbreaks, had to work without its network of public health laboratories when dealing with this outbreak.

Under the shutdown the CDC’s foodborne, waterborne and environmental diseases department went from 300 employees to 40. Ten more returned days after the shutdown.

Many of the seven salmonella strains causing the outbreak are resistant to many antibiotics, making it harder to treat and resulting in more hospitalizations.

Foster Farms hasn’t recalled any products since it can’t link illnesses to specific products or production periods, though some stores have recalled Foster Farms products. Products from the affected plants have the codes: P6137, P6137A and P7632.


People sickened by the salmonella strain by Tuesday, Oct. 1.


Percent of salmonella strain’s victims hospitalized.


Number of employees – out of eight – who run the CDC’s health laboratory network furloughed by the government shutdown.


Percent of the illnesses that have been in California.

Source: USA Today, Wired, Vermont Public Radio