Re: “Salmonella warning: Shore residents more likely to be infected; microbiologists look for links,” Sept. 9

Remarks The Daily Times attributed to Salina Parveen, a food and microbiology researcher at the University of Maryland Eastern Shore and others in a recent story make serious and unfounded inferences against Delmarva’s poultry industry that not only lack scientific integrity, but are based on beliefs, not data.

One of the most significant fallacies implied in the article is that eating chicken or coming in contact with chickens is “the main reason” for people contracting salmonellosis. The two most recent recalls for salmonella contamination have been related to melons and over the past several years, most instances of salmonella outbreaks have been related to lettuce, salads, fruit, sprouts, tomatoes or other fresh produce, which have sickened hundreds of people at a time, according to US government data. Salmonella poisoning may also come from pets (especially reptiles), unwashed hands, petting zoos and a variety of other food and nonfood sources.

The article even states no one has ever studied the link between the poultry industry and rates of salmonellosis, yet the article was published with its unfounded claims.

In 2011, salmonella incidence rates in Maryland were down by almost 8 percent from the previous year. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, total 2010 salmonellosis incidence rates were 17.6 across the United States — as compared with 17.3 in Maryland. read more…