Shutdown Means No Probe of 18-State Salmonella Outbreak

Wednesday, 09 Oct 2013 10:47 AM

By Elliot Jager

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A salmonella outbreak that has sickened more than 250 people in 18 states won't be investigated by the Centers for Disease Control because of the government shutdown.

And staff from the CDC warned about "the exact situation" before they were furloughed last week, "Superbug" author Maryn McKenna reports on Wired.

Those taken ill likely ate chicken from California-based poultry firm, Foster Farms.

"I know that we will not be conducting multi-state outbreak investigations. States may continue to find outbreaks, but we won’t be doing the cross-state consultation and laboratory work to link outbreaks that might cross state borders," a CDC staffer told Wired before the shutdown.

Now it has happened, McKenna reports. "While the government is shut down, with food-safety personnel and disease detectives sent home and forbidden to work, a major food borne-illness outbreak has begun."

Robert Gonzales, who blogs on epidemiology issues concurs that the governmental shutdown has hindered the CDC's ability to respond to such outbreaks.

McKenna concludes, "There's no question people should behave self-protectively. But in our regulatory system, food safety is a shared responsibility, federal, commercial and individual — and it only works when every party in that chain works to the highest standard they can."

Related Stories:

FDA Regulation Will Be the Death of Us — Literally

Salmonella Outbreak Sickens 307 in 37 States

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