Chicken à la cockroach, anyone? If the thought makes you cringe, you're not alone: the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) shut down a Foster Farms poultry plant on Wednesday after finding live cockroaches at the plant on five separate occasions.
The Livingston, Calif. facility was shut down only months after the USDA threatened to shutter the same plant, along with two other Foster Farms plants in Fresno, Calif., due to a salmonella outbreak linked to the company's chicken.
Cockroaches were found near a hand washing sink, on a tub that also comes in contact with products, and between "the liver tumbler/belt and the wall", among other locations, according to a five-page letter from Abdalla Amin, deputy district manager for the Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) in Alameda, Calif., to Foster Farms CEO Ron Foster on Jan. 8.
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"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.
A statement from Foster Farms says five cockroaches were found by FSIS, though Amin's letter did not specify a number. 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.
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