LIVINGSTON, Calif. – Foster Farms announced on Jan. 12 its Livingston, Calif. chicken-processing plant will remain closed while the company addresses a pest-control problem. The company expects the closure to last several more days, but does not have a definitive date for resuming operations at the plant.
Federal inspectors temporarily suspended processing at the Livingston plant on Jan. 8 after the discovery of cockroaches. Public health officials noted that cockroaches can carry foodborne pathogens that can be dispersed throughout a food-processing facility and contaminate food products. Under FSIS's zero-tolerance policy Foster Farms closed the plant immediately for sanitization and treatment.
Foster Farms said in a statement that the company is "exercising vigilance and choosing to dedicate additional time to ensuring its preventative plan is fully realized with the most effective technology and treatments available." Maintenance employees will continue working while other employees will be called back when the full operations resume at the plant, the company said. No product, packaging or line was affected, and the company's two other Central Valley plants will pick up production.
"On behalf of my family, I made a commitment to making this right and we are taking every opportunity to ensure the long-term efficacy of our program at this plant. We are confident in the preventative plan and want to take the time to properly implement new measures to our satisfaction," said Ron Foster, CEO. "We will not resume operations until we are confident that we have the most stringent and effective treatment protocols in place."