Congresswomen Rosa DeLauro (D-CT) and Louise Slaughter (D-NY) are asking the United States Department of Agriculture to close all Foster Farms poultry processing facilities until its salmonella outbreak is stopped. The year-long salmonella outbreak has affected over 600 individuals in 29 states.

The Congresswomen said in a joint press release, “We have been saying for months that tainted chicken does not belong on the grocery stores shelves or the dinner tables of American families. How many more people will fall ill, or even be hospitalized, before USDA does the right thing and cracks down on companies that threaten our families’ health and safety? USDA will claim they do not have the authority to either issue a mandatory recall or shut down Foster Farms. We disagree, but have introduced the “Pathogens Reduction and Testing Reform Act” to ensure there is no confusion. This bill would allow USDA to prevent dangerous, antibiotic-resistant pathogens from ever getting to supermarkets in the first place.” 

The proposed legislation would require the USDA to recall any meat, poultry or egg product contaminated by pathogens associated with serious illness or death, or that are resistant to two or more critically important antibiotics for human medicine. The USDA announced on July 4 that Foster Farmers had issued a voluntary recall on its chicken.