Foster Farms plant linked to salmonella outbreak shut down over cockroaches

Packages of Foster Farms chicken are for sale in a cooler at a grocery store Oct. 9, 2013, in San Anselmo, Calif. Getty Images

LIVINGSTON, Calif. -- The U.S. Department of Agriculture suspended operations Wednesday at a Foster Farms poultry plant in California linked to last year's salmonella outbreak after a cockroach infestation was discovered, CBS San Francisco station KPIX-TV reports.

The Foster Farms facility is one of three linked to the outbreak that sickened more than 400 people last year.

On Wednesday, the agency suspended processing at the facility in Livingston, one of the largest Foster Farms plants in the state.

According to the suspension notice, the plant had egregious unsanitary conditions. Inspectors reported seeing cockroaches at a sink near the processing line and with chicken products on the slaughterhouse floor. The insects were also seen on a plastic tub that came into contact with chicken.

In a statement, Foster Farms said processing has been stopped temporarily at the Livingston plant "to allow for enhanced sanitizing to take place."

"The plant treatment took place this afternoon and the company expects to fully resume operation once approved for inspection by FSIS," the company said Wednesday, using the acronym for the USDA's Food Safety and Inspection Service.

The USDA said it would keep the plant closed until Foster Farms identifies the sources of the infestation and comes up with a plan to eliminate the pests.

Foster Farms said it promises to create a special advisory board to deal with food safety.

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