Foster Farms Reopens Its Voluntarily Closed Poultry Plant

After volunteering to close their Livingston, California, poultry plant following a cockroach scare to address what they termed “manufacturing procedures and monitoring systems,” Foster Farms reopened  the plant this week. The poultry plant is one of three tied to an ongoing Salmonella outbreak that has sickened at least 430 people in 23 states.

The company put a voluntary hold on plant operations on January 12, to ensure that its USDA-approved preventive plan was fully implemented

Ironically, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released an update on the investigation of the salmonella outbreak traced to Foster Farms chicken, an outbreak that has grown to a total of 430 people sickened since the CDC's last update on December 19.

A total of 14 more people have been reported ill: 11 cases in California and one each in Arizona, Idaho and Virginia. Overall, since the first report of the outbreak in October, 74% of the cases have been in California.

There have been no deaths reported from the outbreak, but of the 359 people on whom the CDC had information, 38% reported they had been hospitalized. The CDC's update also said 13 percent of the ill developed blood infections and that "typically, approximately 5 percent of persons ill with salmonella infections develop blood infections."

"The number of reported infections from the outbreak strains of Salmonella Heidelberg has returned to baseline levels, indicating that this particular outbreak appears to be over," the update states. "However, activities related to this investigation are ongoing. Illnesses that occurred after Dec. 15 might not be reported yet due to the time it takes between when a person becomes ill and when the illness is reported. This takes an average of two to four weeks."

A CDC representative on Friday called the "return to baseline" good news for Foster Farms and said it indicates the company has taken effective measures to bring the salmonella outbreak under control. To read more, click HERE.

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