Food Poisoning at Homeless Shelter after Serving Rancid Chicken Salad

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    What has changed then, in the midst of this Covid pandemic, is that Americans have had to accept new food challenges, beyond thinking about food poisoning, we now consider, is it safe to pick up and consume to-go food? ©

    Food Poisoning at Homeless Shelter after Serving Rancid Chicken Salad

    Approximately 6 people are sick with food poisoning after being served rancid chicken salad in a Brooklyn homeless shelter. Almost immediately after eating the expired chicken salad, half a dozen became violently ill and began throwing up. The Fort Greene Shelter on Auburn Place in Brooklyn, New York, is reported to have unknowingly served rancid chicken salad to residents at the homeless shelter on October 24, 2019. An investigation by local regualtory agency personnel, from the Department of Social Services (DSS), identified the likely problem, which indicated the expired chicken salad had a false label of an expiration.

    An expiration date of October 31st covered up the original label with the expiration date of September 20th which is more than a month prior to the date it was served.

    DSS stated that the food vendor, Whitsons, delivered the expired salad to the shelter with the false labels. Upon further investigation, the chicken salad’s falsified labels were in fact switched at the packing plant, Sally Sherman Food Company in Mount Vernon. In July and August, respectively, the U.S. Federal Department of Agriculture (FDA) reported sending warning letter to both the Whitsons company and Sally Sherman Food company after inspectors found the germ listeria in both facilities as well as citing violations of unsanitary work conditions.

    Food Poisoning at Homeless Shelter after Serving Rancid Chicken Salad

    The DSS spokesperson stated this was an “isolated occurrence” only affecting the Fort Greene Shelter and worked to insure the public that authorities will take the proper steps to make sure this never happens again. They made no statement as to whether the change was intentional, accidental, or what the motive might have been.

    The mayor, Bill de Blasio, said the following when asked about the food poisoning incident:

    “It’s horrible. Thank God, as I understand it, the folks who were exposed are going to be okay. But no, we don’t accept that. Any vendor who doesn’t do their job, they’re not going to be a vendor with us.”

    Four of the residents at the homeless shelter that consumed the rancid chicken salad have plans to sue the city and pursue legal measures for their suffering.  According to one national food poisoning lawyer, Ron Simon, “food safety should be the number one concern of any food manufacturer or distributor. The system apparently broke down here, and investigators need to conduct a full investigation as to how and why.”  Attorney Simon offered no comment on the specifics of this case, other than to say “these companies need to exercise due diligence whether they are selling their product to the public or donating it to alleviate poverty.  The duty they have to the public is absolute.”


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