Salmonella outbreak ends CDC furlough

6:18 PM, Oct 9, 2013   |    comments
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ATLANTA -- It's back to work for some furloughed federal employees today.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention called some workers in to help deal with a salmonella outbreak linked to chicken.

The CDC said the government shutdown forced it to furlough about two-thirds of its workers. At one point during the week, its unit that tracks foodborne illnesses had its staffing cut to just 15 percent.

Now, with more cases of salmonella popping up in 18 states, those workers are being brought back.

COMPLETE COVERAGE | Government shutdown

More than 250 people in California were sickened by the salmonella outbreak, and it took a warning from the Department of Agriculture to sound the alarm.

The outbreak could be considered collateral damage of the government shutdown. It has not reached Georgia.

CDC director Tom Frieden anticipated something like this could happen. He recently tweeted about his 8,700 furloughed employees, writing "microbes and other threats didn't shut down. We are less safe."

Salmonella is preventable. Consumers are reminded to cook raw chicken well and to wash anything the meat touches.

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