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USDA lifts suspension of Foster Farms plant

USDA lifts suspension of Foster Farms plant
A suspension was issued Wednesday after inspectors found several instances of live cockroaches in the processing facility in Livingston, Calif. The suspension has since been lifted, a U.S. Department of Agriculture spokesperson said Friday. (Frederic J. Brown)

The U.S. Department of Agriculture has lifted its suspension of a Foster Farms poultry plant in Central California that was cited for cockroach infestation, a spokesperson said Friday.

The USDA's Food Safety and Inspection Service cleared the way for the plant in Livingston to reopen after the poultry producer submitted a mitigation plan.

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Foster Farms said in a statement the plant would resume work Saturday morning.
[Updated 4:52 p.m.]

"FSIS has determined that Foster Farm's corrective action plan addresses the agency's concerns," the spokesperson said. "FSIS will continue to monitor compliance with the plan, as well as the conditions at the plant."

A suspension was issued Wednesday after inspectors found several instances of live cockroaches in the processing facility.

It marked the latest setback for Foster Farms, which is trying to distance itself from an outbreak of salmonella that has sickened more than 400 people nationwide since last March.

The Livingston plant is the company's largest facility, located 25 miles southeast of Modesto. A protracted closure would have been difficult for Foster Farms to absorb. In October, the company's president, Ron Foster, said sales had declined 25% after the salmonella outbreak was announced in October.

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