Segments in this Video

Discovery of Salmonella Heidelberg (03:23)


In October 2013, 18-month-old Noah Craten falls ill. His parents, Amanda and James Craten, suspect Salmonella poisoning. Doctors discover Noah has a brain infection.

Contaminated Poultry (01:35)

Over the last three years, correspondent David Hoffman has investigated the rise of antibiotic resistant bacteria. Strains of Salmonella are becoming more severe and difficult to treat, causing more deaths than any other food-borne illness.

Positive Chicken (02:52)

In the summer of 2004, Oregon health officials engage with a virulent strain of Salmonella. Emilio DeBess discovers Salmonella Heidelberg in a random sampling of chicken from a local grocery store.

Supplier Pattern (02:32)

Oregon and Washington trace increasing cases of Salmonella Heidelberg to Foster Farms. In the summer of 2004, a man in his 60s contracts the virus and dies. DeBess meets with Foster Farms.

Federal Intervention (02:02)

DeBess turns to federal meat inspectors to intervene. By the spring of 2005, DeBess sees fewer illnesses from Salmonella Heidelberg. Katrina Hedberg explains how the industrialized food industry has a higher potential for outbreak.

Fast Food Disaster (02:36)

In 1993, the bacterium, E. coli O157, sickens 700 and kills four children. Bill Marler becomes the lead attorney in the case against Jack in the Box. This event triggers a major reconstruction of the meat safety system.

It's the Consumers' Problem (01:47)

Marler explains the implications of the 1974 case, American Public Health Association v. Butz. Between 1998 and 2012, chicken and turkey have been associated with 278 Salmonella outbreaks.

Outdated Inspection Regulations (03:14)

In 2011, meat packaging plant Cargill, is responsible for a nationwide outbreak of Salmonella. It recalls 36 million pounds of ground turkey. Cargill's VP, Mike Robach, explains how food inspection regulations are antiquated.

Salmonella Performance Standards (02:11)

Some companies take steps in reducing Salmonella during processing. While levels of this virus are decreasing, the number of human illness remains the same. USDA testing is sporadic and unreliable.

Salmonella Heidelberg Resurfaces (03:46)

Once Dalmonella tainted poultry leaves the plant, the USDA has little authority to get the meat off the market. By 2012, Oregon state health officials are seeing a resurgence of infections.

Noah Craten (03:10)

By fall of 2013, over 300 cases of Salmonella Heidelberg are reported. This outbreak reaches a small child in Arizona. His parents are seeking legal action against Foster Farms for not instituting a recall.

Ignoring Chicken Parts (02:36)

David Goldman explains how Foster Farms was meeting FSIS performance standards. Between 2010 and 2013, government inspectors fail to find any Salmonella in the Foster Farm plants suspected of contributing to the outbreak.

In Search of Evidence (03:55)

When FSIS tests chicken parts in Foster Farm plants, 25% tested positive for Salmonella Heidelberg. Without a direct line of evidence, FSIS cannot request a recall.

Ineffective FSIS Regulations (02:56)

On October 7, 2013, FSIS issues a public health alert about the trouble with Foster Farms chicken. FSIS closes one Foster Farm's plant, because of a cockroach infestation.

Letters of Deficiency (03:07)

Foster Farm releases a statement indicating the development of a $75 million food safety program. David Hoffman questions David Goldman about the lack of oversight from the FSIS.

Lack of Federal Action (03:43)

United States Secretary of Agriculture Thomas Vilsack explains why he did not shut-down Foster Farms after the outbreak. Congresswoman Rosa DeLauro questions Vilsack on USDA's refusal to consider Salmonella as an adulterant.

Consumer Burden (02:59)

The National Chicken Council declines repeated requests for an interview. Roback does not believe that the presence of Salmonella causes a food safety hazard. Consumers are expected to handle and prepare poultry as carefully as possible.

Limited Responsibility (02:17)

After a direct line of evidence is found, California's Foster Farms recalls 170 chicken products. In the end, this outbreak sickened 647 people across the nation.

Credits: The Trouble with Chicken (02:05)

Credits: The Trouble with Chicken

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The Trouble with Chicken

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Every year, Salmonella causes more hospitalizations and deaths than any other foodborne illness, with about one in four pieces of raw chicken contaminated with Salmonella today. Why isn't the U.S. food safety system stopping the threat? Correspondent David E. Hoffman investigates how and why the standards and laws around Salmonella have failed to keep up with the increasing danger posed by some strains of the bacteria. The film looks closely at the largest Salmonella poultry outbreak in history, when more than 600 people were sickened over 16 months. Delving into the complex world of food safety, through interviews with local and national public health officials, as well as victims and a top-level poultry industry executive, the film reveals the discrepancies that exist when it comes to foodborne bacteria--contrasting how regulators cracked down hard on E. coli 0157 in raw beef and banned it outright after a deadly outbreak at Jack-in-the-Box two decades ago, but have not taken such decisive action with dangerous kinds of Salmonella, leaving consumers to protect themselves. Distributed by PBS Distribution 

Length: 56 minutes

Item#: BVL114695

Copyright date: ©2015

Closed Captioned

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