Foster Farms Plants Still Open, But How are Grocery Stores Responding to Salmonella Scare?

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On a day when three Foster Farms processing plants could have been shut down because of conditions tied to a salmonella outbreak, store meat coolers told an interesting tale.

Safety warnings for the un-recalled product were off to the side at a Save Mart store in Galt, but ‘buy-1-get-1’ signs were front and center.

Shoppers were a little confused as to why their Galt store and stores in the Raley’s family are just posting warnings. And others, like Food-4-Less, are pulling product.

“That’s really hard to determine. I think everybody should be aware,” said shopper Michael Glazener.

Should be, but Glazener and his wife admit they haven’t paid attention to this week’s cluck-up about USDA-indicated problems with food -handling systems inside three of California’s Foster Farms plants.

Others have a lot of concern about what happens to food products before they make it to stores.

“Basically the food industry is polluted right now,” said shopper Manda Slater.

That belief had her backing away from chicken even before word that almost 300 people in 17 states have been sickened this year after eating Foster Farms chicken.

Kirk Aarseth and his new fiancée weren’t cooking chicken Thursday night, but Foster Farms is a frequent meal-time choice. He doesn’t have any qualms about buying this chicken again because he, like the company, is confident in the steps home cooks can take to stay safe.

“It’s out there .. .you just gotta cook the products well enough and be cautious. But it can be eliminated if you cook it,” said Aarseth.

Thursday, inspectors from the U.S. Department of Agriculture reviewed new food safety controls put in place by Foster Farms over the last two months.

The company’s new operating procedures cancelled the need for potential plant closures to address the problems.

Foster Farms is promising its customers vigilance when it comes to the proper handling of their food.

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