CDC Calls Back Staff To Handle Salmonella Outbreak

Cole Petrochko | MedPage Today | October 8, 2013

An outbreak of Salmonella Heidelberg has spread to 18 states and has sickened nearly 300, prompting the return of some 30 CDC staffers furloughed during the government shutdown to work on the case.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) was the agency that sourced the outbreak to raw chicken products from three Foster Farms facilities in California, although there is no clear indication of which products specifically are affected or the time period in which these products were released, the agency said in a news brief.

The CDC, like many other government agencies, has been operating under "minimal support," and until Tuesday had only two of 80 foodborne pathogen-analyzing staff on duty, according to a report by ABC News.

But on Tuesday, “about 30 people working on foodborne analysis and outbreak response [were brought back to work], including bringing back about 10 people” who specialize in that area, the agency said in an email to MedPage Today.