May 26, 2024

After Salmonella Outbreak, Foster Farms Plant Reopens

A Foster Farms plant associated with a Salmonella outbreak that sickened more than 400 people reopened today after a brief closure. The plant in Livingston, CA resumed operations this morning.

Salmonella BacteriaThe plant, one of three Foster Farms facilities associated with a Salmonella Heidelberg outbreak that sickened at least 430 people in 23 states and Puerto Rico, remained open for most of the time the outbreak was ongoing. The outbreak, one of two linked to Foster Farms last year, began in March and was announced by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)  in October. On January 16, the agency said the outbreak was likely over.

On January 8, about one week before the CDC said the outbreak had ended, the U.S. Department of Agriculture Food Safety and Inspection Service (USDA FSIS) closed the facility citing cockroach problems. Two days later, Foster Farms said it was cleared by FSIS to reopen. But on January 12, the company said it was choosing to keep the plant closed to “further expand its USDA-approved safe manufacturing procedures and monitoring systems.” It has been closed since that time.

During the closure, production was temporarily shifted to Foster Farms’ other CA facilities, two of which were also implicated in the outbreak. The company said it expects to add weekend shifts and provide overtime to hourly plant employees in the coming weeks.

In a statement released today, Foster Farms President Ron Foster said, “Although this has been a challenging time, we remain committed to the highest level of quality and food safety through all aspects of our plant operations and will emerge a stronger company.”

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