This Thanksgiving, concerns about salmonella in turkey products is on the table for many consumer groups. A drug-resistant strain of the bacteria has made more than 160 people in 35 states sick and killed one person in the past year, according to the C-D-C. Senior policy analyst Steve Suppan with the Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy says this current outbreak could be the product of 15 years of privatizing the U.S. Department of Agriculture food-inspection process. He says poultry plants can now determine their own line speed up to 175 birds a minute making it nearly impossible for inspectors to adequately examine birds. Indiana is the fourth largest turkey-producing state in the nation. The U-S-D-A’s Food and Safety Inspection Service has identified at least 22 turkey slaughterhouses and seven processing plants where tainted meat has passed through. But the agency says it would be irresponsible to link producers with an outbreak investigation when a link between a facility and an illness has not yet been made. Laura MacCleery with Center for Science in the Public Interest advises people to follow the food-safety guidelines when preparing turkey for Thanksgiving, or any day. There have been three cases of this salmonella strain in Indiana over the past year, and the C-D-C notes that for every one case that’s reported, an estimated 29 aren’t. MacCleery says sometimes people with salmonella infection have no symptoms, while others develop diarrhea, fever and abdominal cramps. Suppan says another big problem is that workers handling wild birds also are getting sick.
November 22nd, 2018|Local News|