Ramona Giwargis’s article from the Merced Sun Star entitled “Livingston city officials present Foster Farms with key to city” dropped into my inbox a few moments ago and I have been trying to come up with a reaction different than – “WTF” – so far, I have been unsuccessful.

You have to wonder what Foster Farms would get if he poisoned more than the 755 that the CDC has linked to its facilities in two outbreaks (1 and 2) stretching over the last year and a half.

Ms. Giwargis gushed in her article’s opening line:

Without Livingston, there is no Foster Farms, and without Foster Farms, there is no Livingston.

According to Ms. Giwargis, those were the words of Mayor Pro Tem Gurpal Samra as he explained the company’s impact on the city of Livingston. Samra joined Mayor Rodrigo Espinoza and Councilman Arturo Sicairos in presenting Foster Farms CEO Ron Foster with a commemorative key to the city last night.

Again, according to Ms. Giwargis, Ron Foster said he was grateful for the support of the Livingston community, especially amid a Salmonella outbreak and cockroach infestation that shut down the plant for days sending nearly 3,000 employees home without pay – and sent 40% of his sickened customers to the hospital.

One can only imagine what Gurpal Samra, Rodrigo Espinoza and Arturo Sicairos would have given Mr. Foster if instead of sickening 755 with Salmonella it was the CDC’s estimate of 20 to 40 times that?

What bonus would the politicians have bestowed on Mr. Foster if some of the sickened had died?