Foster Farms announced that it voluntarily and temporarily put operations at its Livingston, Calif., fresh chicken production facility on hold to further expand its USDA-approved safe manufacturing procedures and monitoring systems. Livingston maintenance employees will remain on the job; the remainder of plant employees will be called back when the plant resumes full operations.
The company said it is exercising vigilance and has chosen to dedicate additional time to ensuring its preventative plan is fully realized with the most effective technology and treatments available. In a statement released along with the announcement, the company said: "Foster Farms expects this closure to be brief, lasting several days, but does not at this time have a definitive date for resuming operations. No other plants are affected. Company officials said that no product, packaging or line was in any way affected. Production will be shifted temporarily to the company's two other Central Valley, Calif., plants.
Foster Farms had resumed production at its Livingston plant on January 11, after receiving approval of its sanitization and treatment measures from USDA Food Safety Inspection Services (FSIS). The plant was closed on January 8 by the USDA because of the issuance of repeat non-compliance records for insects found in the plant.
Commenting on the January 12 closure of the Livingston plant, Foster Farms President Ron Foster said: "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. We are confident in the preventative plan and want to take the time to properly implement new measures to our satisfaction. Foster Farms is a company that strives for excellence. We will not resume operations until we are confident that we have the most stringent and effective treatment protocols in place."