Foster Farms poultry plant works to reopen after cockroach infestation, previous salmonella outbreak

The Modesto BeeJanuary 10, 2014 

— The Foster Farms chicken plant remained closed as of Thursday evening as the company dealt with a cockroach infestation.

Foster Farms has been working on measures to assure the federal Food Safety and Inspection Service that it can get the problem under control. That work continued through Thursday, company spokesman Ira Brill said.

About 3,500 people work at the plant, one of the largest employers in the Northern San Joaquin Valley. It normally is an around-the-clock operation, with production shifts separated by a multihour break for cleaning.

The FSIS suspended operations Wednesday, after advising Foster Farms that the pests were found on five occasions since September. The company said only five cockroaches were found in the vast complex, but a letter from the agency suggested the number was higher.

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