USDA: Foster Farms Has Until Thursday to Fix Salmonella Problem

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LIVINGSTON–

The guards are on watch outside the Foster Farms processing plant on Davis Street in Livingston – even though the USDA says the plant hasn’t been keeping a close eye on three processing plants in California.

FOX40 spotted several trucks loading up and leaving the plant. We even cellphone video of one on Highway 99. The trucks are making their rounds, delivering raw chicken to your local grocery store.

We found chicken breast, chicken thighs, chicken liver and other raw poultry products for sale in a local grocer in Modesto. A sign was posted only above the Foster Farms brand, informing shoppers of way to prevent salmonella poisoning.

The USDA says chicken processing at three California plants included the Salmonella Heidelberg strain at the center of this outbreak – an outbreak that sickened nearly 300 people in 17 states, with at least six sickened in Stanislaus County and 11 sickened in Sacramento County.

So far, Foster Farms has not recalled any of his poultry and says it’s taking every step to ensure the future safety of its products. But when we try to check, we got booted from the property.

Tia: “No comment on the salmonella?” Security Guard: “I can’t comment, this is private property, you gotta go. GO!”

The USDA has ordered Foster Farms to come up with an action plan to fix the problem by Thursday or inspectors will bring the plants to a screeching halt.

We spotted debris from poultry blowing from the inside to outside the plant. The Agriculture Department says that’s the kind of filth that can cause bacteria to grow.

“You must thoroughly clean the surface where you are preparing chicken, because if you don’t you can cross contaminate you put other food on that same surface,” said Dr. John Walker, the Stanislaus County Public Health Officer.

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