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Major Chicken Provider Shut Down for Unsanitary Conditions

Foster Farms, a chicken processing plant in California, didn’t open re-open its doors last week after it was shut down by officials because of an alleged cockroach infestation, report NBC. Officials with the company state that they needed more time to address the problem before opening in good faith.
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Officials with the U.S. Department of Agriculture shut down the plant last week after allegedly finding live cockroaches for the fifth time in the last five months. These same officials lifted the suspension, but officials with the company said that they would need to remain closed longer. There is no schedule for re-opening at this point.

Our food poisoning attorneys understand Foster Farms was already closed because of two salmonella food poisoning outbreaks last year. The outbreaks were related to the company’s chicken, including a current outbreak that has already sickened more than 200 people in 23 states, as well as Puerto Rico. Even with this outbreak and the illnesses, as well as a federal shutdown threat, Foster Farms kept its doors open and has neglected to issue any recalls.

Federal and state officials said cockroaches can spread harmful bacteria. Salmonella occurs naturally in live chickens and people can protect themselves by cooking the meat to 165 degrees and by washing items that come in contact with raw products.

According to FoodSafety.gov, harmful bacteria are the most common cause of food poisoning, but other causes include viruses, parasites, toxins and contaminants.

Each year, about 1 in 6 Americans (or 48 million people) gets sick, 128,000 are hospitalized, and 3,000 die of foodborne diseases, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). With the recent high-profile outbreaks of Salmonella, food safety is fresh in our minds.

Depending on the type of infection, people can even die as a result of food poisoning. That is why it is very important to take steps to prevent food poisoning. Follow these general guidelines to avoid contracting a foodborne illness.

-Always make sure that food that comes from animals, like meat, eggs and dairy, is cooked thoroughly. It’s a good idea to use a thermometer.

-Try to stay away from eating spoiled or raw eggs and meats. Always check the expiration date before consumption.

-If you’re eating out and you are served undercooked, you should send it back for more cooking. It’s also a good idea to ask for a new plate.

-Never leave these kinds of foods at room temperature for an extended period of time.

-Shop safely. Bag raw meat, poultry, and fish separately from other food items. Young children can get sick from touching packaged poultry, so don’t allow them to touch or play with packages of poultry in your grocery cart. Drive home after finishing your shopping so you can store foods promptly.

-Wash surfaces and utensils. External Web Site Icon after each use. Rinsing utensils, countertops, and cutting boards with water won’t do enough to stop bacteria from spreading. Clean utensils and small cutting boards with hot, soapy water. Clean surfaces and cutting boards with a bleach solution.

If you are the victim of food poisoning in Massachusetts, call the Law Offices of Jeffrey S. Glassman for a free and confidential appointment — 1-888-367-2900.

More Blog Entries:

Farmers Charged After Cantaloupe Listeria Outbreak Kills 33, Product Liability Lawyer Blog, October 3, 2013