by Bruce A. Smith
John Anderson, president of Kapowsin Meats in Graham, announced today that his wholesale meat producing firm has issued a recall notice for all “Whole BBQ Hogs” sold between May 14 and July 21, 2015.
These meat products have been identified by the Washington State Department of Health as a primary source of the Salmonella outbreak that has caused illnesses in 134 cases state-wide.
Anderson also said that Kapowsin Meats has launched a vigorous clean up of its facilities in Graham, including instituting a new sanitary intervention on the kill floor whereby the carcasses are sprayed with a vinegar solution before the meat is further processed.
“This procedure has been shown to be very effective in controlling Salmonella,” Anderson said.
As for Salmonella contamination at his plant, Anderson was more circumspect.
“Salmonella is everywhere,” he stated, and claimed that the probable cause of the illnesses was due to a failure by private individuals to cook or serve the pigs properly.
“We think that the probable cause of the Salmonella was cross-contamination on the cutting boards,” Anderson told the Mountain News.
“The pigs are cooked at 400-500 degrees, and under-cooked pigs are probably not the problem since Salmonella is killed at 145 degrees. The contamination probably happens latter, when the cooked food comes in contact with contaminated surfaces in the serving area.”
In addition, Kapowsin Meats has performed a comprehensive sanitizing of its facilities.
“We’ve disinfected everything – anything you can think of. We’ve sterilized this place from top to bottom.”
Still, Anderson is still searching for the origins of the Salmonella and is conducting surveys of hogs from his suppliers.
“We’re still searching for the source.”
Anderson said that he has called several of his suppliers to ascertain the level of cleanliness at those facilities and he is satisfied that the hogs are properly raised and delivered.