A lawsuit has been filed on behalf of six people who allegedly became ill as a result of consuming chicken from Foster Farms that was tied to a nationwide Salmonella outbreak. The national food safety law firm of Ron Simon & Associates, along with local counsel Gomez Trial Attorneys of San Diego, filed the suit.

The outbreak, which began in March 2013, affected more than 600 people in 29 states and Puerto Rico. It was tied to poultry produced at three Foster Farms facilities in California as a result of epidemiologic, laboratory, and traceback investigations conducted by local, state, and federal officials. Two of the plants are located in Livingston, while the other is in Fresno.

The lawsuit, filed on behalf of six outbreak victims, claims that Foster Farms knew that its chicken was contaminated with Salmonella, but kept selling the chicken for years despite numerous warning letters from federal health officials that the chicken would injure the public. The lawsuit seeks punitive damages against the company. 

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Foster Farms did not initially recall any of its products tied to the Salmonella outbreak, but eventually issued a recall in July 2014.

Since the Salmonella outbreak began, Foster Farms had actively been implementing a $75 million multi-hurdle food safety program to reduce naturally occurring Salmonella at each stage of the production process. The company stated it now leads the industry in reducing incidence levels of Salmonella in raw poultry parts companywide to less than five percent. Foster Farms is actively sharing its learnings with other producers in the food industry to improve Salmonella controls industrywide.