4

USDA Shuts Down a Foster Farms Poultry Plant Due to Roach Infestation

^
Keep New Times Free
I Support
  • Local
  • Community
  • Journalism
  • logo

Support the independent voice of Phoenix and help keep the future of New Times free.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture shut down a Foster Farms poultry plant in California on Wednesday after finding cockroaches on site for the fourth time since September. The USDA won't say how many roaches were found but did say the pests were found in various locations throughout the plant.

This news comes only months after the Livingston, California, plant and two others underwent investigation in relation to a salmonella outbreak that has sickened hundreds of people since last March.

See also: Hundreds Sick in 18 States From Salmonella Linked to Raw Foster Farms Chickens; Officials Say Outbreak Is Ongoing

According to The Oregonian, a Food Safety and Inspection Service employee sent a suspension notice to Foster Farms CEO Ron Foster on Wednesday detailing the four cases of cockroach infestation, which occurred on September 14, November 4, December 28 and finally on January 7. The notice included the following language:

These recent findings of egregious (unsanitary) conditions related to a cockroach infestation in your facility indicate that your establishment is not being operated and maintained in sanitary condition, or in a manner to ensure that product is not adulterated.

Poorly maintained facilities and equipment that are not maintained to prevent entrance of pests, such as cockroaches, rats and flies, can and do harbor food borne pathogens, which can then multiply and be dispersed throughout the food processing environment, increasing the chances of product contamination rendering the product unsafe.

The FSIS threatened to close this plant in October during the salmonella outbreak investigation, but allowed the plant and two others also under investigation to stay open after the company agreed to improve its food safety practices. Despite being linked to two salmonella outbreaks last year, Foster Farms never issued recalls of potentially infected products, opting instead to remind customers to cook chicken thoroughly.

Pests such as cockroaches can carry bacteria, including salmonella but it isn't clear whether the cockroaches are related to the ongoing outbreak. Salomnella is considered naturally occurring and not an adulterant, which is why federal inspectors couldn't force Foster Farms to recall infected chicken.

Foster Farms says no other plants or any products have been affected by the infestation and that production has been moved elsewhere.

Follow Chow Bella on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest.

Keep Phoenix New Times Free... Since we started Phoenix New Times, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Phoenix, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Phoenix with no paywalls.

We use cookies to collect and analyze information on site performance and usage, and to enhance and customize content and advertisements. By clicking 'X' or continuing to use the site, you agree to allow cookies to be placed. To find out more, visit our cookies policy and our privacy policy.

 

Join the New Times community and help support independent local journalism in Phoenix.

 

Join the New Times community and help support independent local journalism in Phoenix.