Foster Farms

Foster Farms said production at its Livingston facility would be shifted temporarily to the company's two processing plants in Fresno. (Justin Sullivan / January 12, 2014)

Foster Farms shut down its largest poultry plant in Central California on Sunday, two days after federal inspectors lifted a suspension for cockroach infestation.

The company said fresh chicken production at the Livingston facility was put on hold for several days to expand safety procedures.

“On behalf of my family, I made a commitment to making this right, and we are taking every opportunity to ensure the long-term efficacy of our program at this plant,” company President Ron Foster said in a statement. “We are confident in the preventative plan and want to take the time to properly implement new measures to our satisfaction.”

Foster Farms said production would be shifted temporarily to the company’s two processing plants in Fresno.

Employees at the Livingston facility,  25 miles southeast of Modesto, will be called back to work when maintenance is complete.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service closed the plant Wednesday after finding several instances of live cockroaches.

The suspension was lifted Friday after Foster Farms presented inspectors with a mitigation plan. The plant resumed work Saturday morning before shutting down again Sunday morning.

“Foster Farms expects this closure to be brief, lasting several days, but does not at this time have a definitive date for resuming operations,” the company said in a statement.

The suspension for cockroaches was the latest setback for one of the nation’s largest poultry brands.

The Livingston and Fresno plants are linked to an outbreak of salmonella that has sickened over 400 people nationwide since March.

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