USDA Closes California Foster Farms Plant Over Roach Infestation

USDA closes California Foster Farms plant over roach infestation

The U.S. Department of Agriculture suspended poultry processing at the Foster Farms plant in Livingston, Calif., saying it is infested with live cockroaches.

The suspension comes amid a USDA investigation of three Foster Farms plants in central California, including the one in Livingston, over a nationwide salmonella outbreak that’s sickened more than 400 people.

Cockroaches, which feed and lurk in unsanitary places such as sewers and bathrooms, can carry harmful viruses and bacteria, including salmonella. It’s unclear whether an infestation caused the outbreak, however. Chicken are typically contaminated with salmonella.

The suspension notice said inspectors for the USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service have cited the Livingston plant repeatedly since September for roaches.

Photo: A Foster Farms plant in Fresno, Calif., was among three implicated in a nationwide Salmonella outbreak that started last March and appears to be ongoing, sickening more than 400. One of the other plants, in Livingston, Calif., was just closed by the U.S. Department of Agriculture over a roach infestation. (The Associated Press)