Feds shut Calif. chicken plant infested with cockroaches

10:23 PM, Jan 8, 2014   |    comments
This Foster Farms processing plant in Livingston, Calif., is one of three plants in the state linked to a salmonella outbreak that has sickened about 400 people across the country. (Photo: Rich Pedroncelli, AP)
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Federal inspectors Wednesday suspended processing at a Foster Farms poultry plant in California that is infested with cockroaches.

The plant is one of three in central California being investigated for an outbreak of antibiotic-resistant salmonella that has sickened more than 400 people nationwide.

In October, the U.S. Department of Agriculture refused to close the plant, saying Foster Farms had "submitted and implemented immediate substantive changes to their slaughter and processing to allow for continued operations."

Citing "egregious insanitary conditions," the USDA's Food Safety and Inspection Service suspended processing at the plant in Livingston, near Fresno, one of the company's biggest facilities, The Oregonian newspaper reported.

Cockroaches carry viruses and bacteria, including salmonella.

USDA inspectors have cited the Livingston plant for roaches several times since September, the suspension notice said.

A Foster Farms spokesperson told the Fresno Bee that the suspension would be "temporary" and that two other plants were not affected.

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