Can I Sue Perdue for Salmonella from Chicken?

Yes, you can sue Perdue for Salmonella from chicken if there is evidence to support your claim. Consumers have filed lawsuits against Perdue Foods.

If you developed a Salmonella infection after eating Perdue chicken or if such an infection led to the wrongful death of a family member, our experienced Salmonella lawyers can help you determine if you have a case and how best to proceed.

We have represented clients in every major Salmonella outbreak in the U.S. and secured some of the nation’s largest-ever verdicts and settlements. We filed a lawsuit against a major poultry company on behalf of a child who suffered brain damage after contracting a Salmonella Heidelberg infection from contaminated poultry and won a landmark verdict that is believed to be the largest Salmonella settlement in U.S. history.

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Perdue Foods is the Fifth-Largest Poultry Company in the U.S.

Perdue Farms Inc. is the privately held parent company of the meat and poultry processor Perdue Foods LLC and the grain company Perdue Agribusiness LLC. All three companies have headquarters in Salisbury, Maryland.

In addition to poultry, Perdue Farms sells beef and pork under the brand names Coleman Natural, Niman Ranch, and Panorama Grassfed Meats. It makes pet food under the brand names Spot Farms and Full Moon.

According to Watt Poultry, Perdue produces 61million pounds of chicken each week and generated $3.6 billion in revenue in 2020. About 72 percent of its poultry products are fresh and 28 percent are frozen. Most of its sales, 69 percent, are retail, 16 percent are foodservice, 12 percent are wholesale and 3 percent are from exports.

Perdue Foods’ consumer brands for poultry include Perdue, Perdue Simply Smart Organics, and Perdue Harvestland. Under the Petaluma Poultry umbrella, it sells Rosie brand organic chicken. Draper Valley Farms sells Rocky brand free-range chicken.

The company’s private label operations produce chicken products for grocery stores including Costco, Roundy’s, Trader Joe’s, Wegmans, and Weis. Gol Pak is one of its foodservice brands.

Perdue Foods operates at least 22 poultry and slaughter facilities. The establishment number, which begins with the letter “P,” appears inside the USDA mark of inspection on product packaging.  It indicates the location of the facility where the product was produced.

Perdue Poultry processing and slaughter facilities

Chicken Salmonella Infantis Outbreak

In 2018 and 2019, a deadly Salmonella Infantis outbreak was linked to raw chicken products. In February 2019, when the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issued its final report on the outbreak, 129 illnesses had been confirmed and one person had died. The illnesses were reported from January 8, 2018, to January 27, 2019.

The CDC and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (USDA FSIS) conducted a collaborative investigation of the outbreak but were unable to pinpoint a source of the outbreak because they were finding the multidrug-resistant Salmonella Infantis outbreak strain everywhere. They found the outbreak strain, Salmonella Infantis Pattern 1080, on 76 samples collected from live chickens, raw chicken pet food, and from chicken processing facilities.

Health officials interviewed the outbreak patients about the foods they ate before they became ill. They named multiple brands of chicken and multiple stores where they purchased the chicken products. The names of these companies weren’t disclosed at the time.

Salmonella in chicken

ProPublica’s Salmonella Infantis Outbreak Report

In October 2021, an investigative report from ProPublica revealed that the Salmonella Infantis outbreak did not end in 2019 and has been ongoing since the time it was first announced.

And although outbreak patients named several brand names of chicken in those outbreak interviews, the one named most often was Perdue, according to the report. The ProPublica team also learned that during the investigation of the outbreak, health officials in Pennsylvania and Minnesota found the outbreak strain in packages of Perdue wings, thighs, and drumsticks purchased from three different grocery stores.

Robert Tauxe is the director of the Center for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC’s) Division of Foodborne, Waterborne, and Environmental Diseases. He told ProPublica that the agency receives dozens of reports of illness linked to this outbreak strain each month and many of them are “gravely ill.”

And Salmonella Infantis Pattern 1080 is still frequently turning up in chicken.

In 2021, USDA FSIS inspectors found this strain on poultry products at least twice a day, according to ProPublica. And because USDA lacks enforcement power, these chicken products head directly to store shelves, restaurants, and foodservice operations.

Perdue’s Salmonella Infantis Sampling Data

Food Poisoning Bulletin, a food safety publication underwritten by Pritzker Hageman, reviewed USDA Salmonella sampling data from 2015 to June 2021. The agency reports information for whole carcasses and chicken parts separately. In both categories, Perdue had more samples test positive for the specific outbreak strain, Salmonella Infantis Pattern 1080, than any other company. For chicken parts and whole birds combined, 29 percent of the samples that tested positive for the outbreak strain were Perdue products.

The contaminated chicken products were produced at seven Perdue processing facilities located in Delaware, Kentucky, Maryland, Tennessee, Virginia, and in two North Carolina cities.

While Salmonella Infantis Pattern1080 is the only strain currently linked to the ongoing outbreak it’s not the only multidrug-resistant Salmonella Infantis strain. There are dozens and almost all of them show some kind of resistance to antibiotics. Of the 193 Perdue chicken samples that tested positive for some type of Salmonella Infantis in the Food Poisoning Bulletin review, all of them were resistant to at least one antibiotic. And all but five were multidrug-resistant.

Salmonella Lawyers with Experience

If you have been sickened by chicken that was contaminated with Salmonella and would like a free consultation with a Salmonella lawyer, please contact the Pritzker Hageman Salmonella Legal Team. Our attorneys have represented clients in every major Salmonella outbreak in the U.S. You can reach us by calling 1-888-377-8900, sending a text to 612-261-0856, or completing the form below. There is no obligation and we don’t get paid unless we win.

We are not paid unless you win. Submitting this form does not create an attorney-client relationship.