After being approved to reopen by the United States Department of Agriculture following a cockroach infestation last week, Foster Farms has voluntarily suspended poultry processing at its Livingston plant to expand USDA-approved manufacturing procedures.
“The company is exercising vigilance and choosing to dedicate additional time to ensuring its preventative plan is fully realized with the most effective technology and treatments available,” stated Foster Farms in a press release on Sunday.
The voluntary closure was precipitated by an enforced suspension by the USDA Food Safety Inspection Services on Jan. 8, after inspectors found cockroaches on five different occasions since September. Each time the company was cited for noncompliance as the cockroaches were found during production near a sink, sanitizer dispenser, on the floor and on a “grey plastic tub that is a direct product contact surface.”
The pests are cause for concern due to the possibility that they could harbor food borne pathogens from contact with garbage, which could contaminate product, according to the USDA. Foster Farms worked to eradicate the cockroaches by performing sanitization treatments. Last week, the company stated that no other plants were affected by the cockroach infestation and no products were affected.