Food-safety hampered by government shutdown
CDC spokeswoman Barbara Reynolds said the agency's skeletal staffing during the government shutdown hampered its analysis of the salmonella cases.
"We were monitoring 30 outbreak clusters, and it became overwhelming" to the agency's reduced staff, she said.
The CDC has a system of identifying bacteria and gauging the scope of an outbreak. The system, known as PulseNet, conducts DNA fingerprinting tests on samples to verify which cases are related. But Ms. Reynolds said the CDC had only one person, instead of the usual eight, doing data analysis on PulseNet until recently. Now the agency has brought people back in to work on the outbreak, she said.