Same Salmonella Outbreak from Last Year Might Be Cause of Seattle’s Recent Case

pigIn what would have to be an epic display of organizational dysfunction, bureaucratic failures, and pure bad luck, the same slaughterhouse that caused a salmonella outbreak last year is looking like it could be the source of Seattle’s most recent one too.

According to, at least 11 people in Seattle and one person in Pierce County have been reported sick with salmonella food poisoning. All of the victims had eaten whole roast pork from Kapowsin Meats, the Graham slaughterhouse that was the source of a more serious outbreak that affected 192 people last year.

Kapowsin Meats just reopened on June 13th, with approval from the U.S. Department of Agriculture, after taking measures that were supposed to prevent such an event from happening again. Unfortunately, it appears that the more things change, the more they stay the same.

The USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service told reporters Kapowsin had implemented new cleaning procedures and that federal inspectors were on-site when the operation reopened.

As part of the new process that was meant to make the meats safer, the company started using steam intervention to kill bacteria in whole hog carcasses. Steam is known to be an efficient killer of household germs and bacteria, including salmonella. It appears it may not have been enough, though. If it’s the same strain as last year’s outbreak, which it’s being reported as, that bacteria had become resistant to antibiotics. Presumably, one of the reasons steam was brought into the process.

Officials continue to monitor the situation. If you think you’re experiencing food poisoning seek medical attention.

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