A chicken processing plant shut down in January for its totally disgusting conditions is back in the news again today. Meat that has been traced back to this California plant has been making a lot of people very, very sick. The CDC has a list of more than 500 people made incredibly ill with a strain of salmonella that is resistant to antibiotics. Awesome. Just what we need -- super-salmonella. Because there wasn't enough stuff on planet Earth already scaring our pants off.
Wait until you hear the next part. The company hasn't recalled any of its products -- and the government isn't making them! The standard guideline regarding salmonella is that chicken cooked above a certain temperature is safe to ingest. While no one has died, over 500 folks sent to hospital to receive treatment seem to disprove this theory, at least where this particular strain of salmonella is concerned.
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The description of what was found at the plant is enough to make you blow chunks. Sorry, was that graphic? I guarantee you it was nothing compared to what you are about to read. I think it maybe just made me become a vegetarian. I am only 40 percent kidding.
On Wednesday, cockroaches were observed at a sink across from a processing line, with "exposed product" on the slaughterhouse floor, the notice said. On Tuesday, live cockroaches were on a plastic tub that came into contact with chicken. Inspectors also cited the plant for noncompliance on Dec. 28, Nov. 4, and Sept. 14 after roaches were observed during production.
Do we need to take a break so that we might all hose our brains down with scalding water? Yeah, I thought so. I am not a scientist or even someone whose job it is to make sure food is not diseased. With that in mind, I feel like having details like these and being surprised when there is a public outcry about your lack of issuing a recall is just naive!
The folks who owned the cockroach-riddled hall of chicken nightmares has made a statement claiming that they have changed the way their chicken is handled. That is not specific enough to have me merrily ordering a chicken sandwich and biting into it without a care in the world. That is not nearly specific enough.
Do you think a recall should have been issued?
Image via liz west/Flickr