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USDA Shuts Down Central Valley Foster Farms Plant Over Cockroaches

LIVINGSTON, Merced County (KPIX 5) -- The U.S. Department of Agriculture has suspended operations at a Foster Farms poultry plant in the Central Valley, after a cockroach infestation was discovered.

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.

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 they promise to create a special advisory board to deal with food safety.

The Livingston plant is currently under investigation after being implicated in a nationwide salmonella outbreak last year that sickened 400 people.

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