Reporting Andrea Menniti
LIVINGSTON (CBS13) — Three Foster Farms production facilities will not close as the result of a salmonella outbreak that’s come to light during the federal government shutdown.
As of Thursday afternoon, 278 people were infected with seven outbreak strains across the United States—213 of those cases are spread across 34 counties in California. No deaths have been reported.
In a statement the USDA said it will intensify sampling and that Foster Farms has made significant changes.
“Our top priority is to ensure the safety of the food Americans feed their families. Foster Farms has submitted and implemented immediate substantive changes to their slaughter and processing to allow for continued operations. FSIS inspectors will verify that these changes are being implemented in a continuous and ongoing basis. Additionally the agency will continue intensified sampling for at least the next 90 days.”
The three facilities that could have closed are all in California—two are in Fresno, and one is in Livingston in Merced County.
The closures would have come if the United States Department of Agriculture pulls its inspectors from the facility.
In a statement, the CEO of Foster Farms says, “We are fully cooperating with FSIS (food safety and inspection service) during this process and are responding with new and already implemented practices in the affected plants … We have brought in national food safety experts to assess our processes.”