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Foster Farms reopens Livingston plant

Foster Farms reopens Livingston plant
Foster Farm's Livingston, Calif., facility is 25 miles southeast of Modesto and is a major employer in the community. Foster Farms said it would add weekend shifts and provide overtime to hourly plant employees in the coming weeks. (Rich Pedroncelli)

Foster Farms reopened its largest poultry processing plant Wednesday after voluntarily closing the facility for 10 days to improve safety conditions.

The plant in Livingston, Calif., was cited by the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Food Safety and Inspection Service for cockroach infestation this month.

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As a result, inspectors suspended operations at the factory Jan. 8. They cleared it for reopening two days later. But Foster Farms decided to close the factory again Jan. 12 to expand safety measures.

The Livingston facility is 25 miles southeast of Modesto and is a major employer in the community.

Foster Farms said it would add weekend shifts and provide overtime to hourly plant employees in the coming weeks.

"Although this has been a challenging time, we remain committed to the highest level of quality and food safety through all aspects of our plant operations and will emerge a stronger company," Ron Foster, the company's president, said in a statement.

The Livingston plant and two other company facilities in Fresno were linked to an outbreak of salmonella that had sickened 430 people nationwide since March.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention declared the outbreak over last week.

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