Post by Allison Aubrey, The Salt at NPR Food (10/10/13)
The company at the center of a large-scale salmonella outbreak, Foster Farms, faces a big deadline today.
The California-based poultry producer must deliver plans to the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Food Safety and Inspection Service to fix the problems that USDA inspectors have uncovered at three of its four production facilities — namely, evidence of Salmonella Heidelberg.
As we've reported, the outbreak has sickened 278 people in multiple states, and 42 percent of those who got sick have been hospitalized. And according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, some of the strains of Salmonella Heidelberg making people sick in this outbreak are resistant to several commonly used antibiotics.
Earlier this week, the USDA delivered a Notice of Intended Enforcement to Foster Farms. The letter explained that inspections would be suspended at Foster Farms' operations — in effect, shutting the plants down — if the company doesn't produce plans to correct problems at each of the three plants by the end of the day Thursday.