The U.S. Department of Agriculture shutdown a Central California chicken plant on Wednesday after federal inspectors found it infested with cockroaches.
The Food Safety and Inspection Service ordered a temporary close of the Foster Farms facility in Livingston after checking for enhanced sanitizing on Wednesday.
The FSIS deputy district manager Abdalla Amin wrote to Foster Farms CEO Ron Foster saying, “the closure came after the inspectors found cockroaches on five separate occasions in various parts of the plant over the past four months, including at a hand washing sink early Wednesday”
Amin said the action occurred due to the “egregious insanitary conditions” which may have tainted products within the facility. Foster Farms said on Wednesday, “food safety is our highest priority and we’re shutting down the Livingston facility immediately for sanitation and treatment for the incidents dating back to September.”
The company said in a statement, “no other facilities are affected. No products are affected. Product production has been transferred to the company’s other facilities.”
Foster Farms claims to maintain a pest control program and the plant 25 miles outside of Modesto is expected to reopen soon. The temporary close of the facility comes three months after inspectors threatened a shutdown because of salmonella problems at the Livingston plant and two Foster Farms facilities in Fresno.
Those facilities stayed open because they agreed to fix the problems found. They issued no recalls of products and advised consumers to handle chickens with caution along with cooking it thoroughly.
The company’s CEO said in October, “the salmonella outbreak caused sales to drop about 25 percent. The sales usually are about $2.3 billion a year.”