Salmonella on Chicken Caused by Roaches
As if their problems weren’t bad enough, having seen sales drop 25 percent in recent months because of a salmonella outbreak traced to their plants, a Foster Farms chicken processing plant in California that just reopened on Saturday after being shut down for a major cockroach infestation has decided to once again suspend operations once again, albeit this time “voluntarily and temporarily.”
On Sunday, Foster Farms announced that it would once again close their plant in Livingston, California for several days, in order to give them a chance to properly implement new food safety measures designed to prevent a cockroach infestation in the future. In a statement, the company claimed that it decided it was worth their while to “exercise vigilance” and spend extra time making sure its preventative plan is carried out properly.
The Livingston plant, near Fresno, was shut down temporarily by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) on Jan. 8, after inspectors found what they referred to as “egregious insanitary conditions,” which took the form of infestations of cockroaches in various areas of the plant on five separate occasions over a four-month period. One such location was a hand-washing sink for workers.
This temporary closure for cockroaches came just three months after FSIS inspectors threatened to shut down the Livingston plant and two plants in Fresno because of salmonella contamination problems at all three plants. The only reason they were able to remain open then is because Foster Farms agreed to improve cleanliness and safeguards against such things. However, throughout that period, they issued no recall, but instead advised its customers to handle all chicken properly and to make sure to cook it thoroughly.
Three days after the shutdown, work was allowed to resume after Foster Farms announced that it had thoroughly cleaned up and treated the plant, so as to meet USDA demands. According to the company, no chicken product was affected by the process.
In a statement, Foster Farms said that food product safety is its “highest priority” and that the plant in Livingston had been shut down for “sanitation and treatment” immediately after each of these incidents, dating back to September. They also noted, “No other facilities are affected. No products are affected. Product production has been transferred to the company’s other facilities.”
Foodborne illness is a huge problem, and a number of cases seem to be the result of food processing companies choosing volume over quality and safety. Increasingly, food companies seem to be taking shortcuts. The Texas Food Poisoning Lawyer at Hill Law Firm has the considerable experience necessary to know exactly how to get food production companies large and small to pay attention to your case. If you or someone you love has been sickened by contaminated food, please contact the Texas Food Poisoning Injury Lawyer at Hill Law Firm immediately.