Chicken farm cockroach infestation shut down California plant

A Foster Farms sign is seen in this undated file photo.
January 9, 2014 12:00:00 AM PST
Foster Farms is awaiting a federal investigation after its Central California plant was shut due to a cockroach infestation.

The Food Safety and Inspection Service ordered the temporary closure of the Livingston facility.

The closure comes after FSIS inspectors found cockroaches on five separate occasions in various parts of the plant over the past four months - including a hand-washing sink, said FSIS deputy district manager Abdalla Amin.

Amin said the closure was carried out based on "egregious insanitary conditions" which he said may have tainted products at the facility.

Foster Farms said that food safety is its "highest priority" and that the Livingston facility was immediately shut down for "sanitation and treatment" for the incidents dating back to September.

"No other facilities are affected. No products are affected. Product production has been transferred to the company's other facilities," the company said in a statement.

Foster Farms said the plant is expected to reopen soon.

The temporary closure comes three months after inspectors threatened a shutdown because of salmonella problems at the Livingston plant and two other Foster Farms sites in Fresno.

Those facilities stayed open as the company agreed to improve safeguards. It also issued no recalls of products and instead advised consumers to handle chicken properly and to cook it very thoroughly.

The company's CEO said in October that the salmonella outbreak caused sales to drop about 25 percent.


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