Ken Carlson of the Modesto Bee reports that Foster Farms is suing Orkin LLC, charging the pest control company was to blame for cockroaches that resulted in a three-day shutdown of its Livingston poultry facility in January. The lawsuit, filed late last month in Merced County Superior Court, claims that Orkin should pay damages for failing to fulfill a contract to control cockroaches at the processing plant. The U.S. Department of Agriculture suspended operations at the Foster Farms plant for three days in January because cockroaches were found at the plant on four occasions.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reportedly has tied 574 cases of salmonella illness to raw chicken from the Foster Farms plant in Livingston and two smaller plants in Fresno. The Food Safety and Inspection Service notified Foster Farms last fall that the presence of cockroaches was a sign of unsanitary conditions at the plant.