Up to 100 people recently fell violently ill after consuming chicken contaminated with salmonella at Box Village Bakery in Sylvania, NSW.
An area of Sutherland Hospital’s emergency department had to be cordoned off as people began flooding in, presenting with gastro-like symptoms.
Outraged customers left angry notes on the premises of the bakery, which has since been closed for investigation. Concerned family members told of seeing loved ones suffer from severe vomiting, fever, stomach cramps, dizziness and diarrhoea so bad that they had to wear nappies. Some severely dehydrated patients had to be hooked up to IV drips.
But there are other victims here who also suffered immeasurably: chickens.
While this café was serving up contaminated “schnitty rolls” to unsuspecting customers, the salmonella infection wasn’t the only hidden tragedy lurking in their lunch.
Customers may not have been aware that chickens on Australian factory farms spend their entire lives in filthy sheds with tens of thousands of other birds, where extreme crowding and confinement mean it’s no surprise that disease outbreaks occur.
Chickens are bred to grow so large so quickly that their legs and organs can’t keep up. Many become crippled under their own weight and die miserably from dehydration because they can’t get to water nozzles.
Our thoughts go out to the people affected by this latest food poisoning outbreak. The best way we can all help reduce our risk of future food-borne illnesses and ensure we’re not contributing to the suffering of chickens is, simply, to go vegan!
It’s easier than ever to switch to a more humane diet. Perhaps Box Village Bakery should follow the lead of popular bakeries like Mister Nice Guy’s Bake Shop and La Panella Bakery and realise that they don’t need to serve up the products of misery and confinement to tempt customers’ taste buds.