Chicken Plant Cockroaches Cause Shut Down

    January 14, 2014

If you’re still eating chicken after the last shocking headline that 97 percent of chicken breasts tested harbored bacteria that could make you sick, then this might just put you off of chicken completely.

Foster Farms has had been shut down due to the cockroach problems in its plant. As CNBC put it: Chicken à la cockroach, anyone?

The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) has shut down the Livingston, California facility on Wednesday after finding cockroaches, alive, at their plant on five different visits. The agency warned the company and another Foster Farms plant in Fresno, CA about the cockroach problems, and due to the recent salmonella outbreak linked to this company’s chicken.

With cockroaches in a food processing plant there’s a real danger to consumers, according to Sandra Eskin, director of Pew’s food safety program.

“Cockroaches can carry salmonella and that is a concern because we have an outgoing outbreak at the plant in Livingston, California, and a couple others operated by Foster Farms,” said Eskin.

The bugs were found all over the plant, where people wash their hands and in production lines.

Abdalla Amin, deputy district manager for the Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) in Alameda, Calif., wrote a five page letter to Foster Farms CEO Ron Foster on Jan. 8, which included the statement:

“These recent findings of egregious insanitary conditions related to an Equal Opportunity Provider and Employer 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,” Amin writes in the letter.

Foster Farms issued a statement saying that just five cockroaches were found by FSIS. The company insists it is committed to the same sanitation standards as FSIS.

“A single incident is not acceptable, and we are committed to a zero tolerance policy,” the statement reads.

That statement is a little hard to swallow given the recent infractions.

Image via Wikimedia Commons