FOOD SAFETY RESPONSE STATEMENT
TO CDC ANNOUNCEMENT
LIVINGSTON, Calif. – Food safety is, and always will be, our top priority. As of today, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention CDC has concluded its review of a Salmonella outbreak associated with raw chicken and determined that the outbreak has ended.
The CDC affirms Foster Farms’ progress in reducing Salmonella to less than five percent from an industry average of 25 percent for raw poultry parts: “Foster Farms has implemented and continues to utilize multiple interventions to reduce Salmonella throughout its entire poultry production process. This strategy includes interventions at the breeder level, at hatcheries, at grow-out farms, and at the processing plant where the final product is packaged. Supported by data from continuous testing by Foster Farms, these interventions have reduced Salmonella prevalence to less than 5 percent in the Foster Farms establishments linked to this outbreak. FSIS has determined that process control measures undertaken by the firm to consistently minimize Salmonella contamination of raw chicken have been successful. ”
Foster Farms remains committed to continuing its progress and leading the industry in food safety. In October 2013, Foster Farms began implementing a $75 million multi-hurdle food safety program to reduce naturally occurring Salmonella at each stage of the production process. The company 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 for the benefit of U.S. consumers.
Foster Farms products in grocery stores today have been produced under the most stringent processes and are inspected and approved as safe daily by the USDA. All Foster Farms products, as with all raw poultry products, are safe to consume when properly handled and fully cooked.
Experts agree that even with very low levels of Salmonella incidence, the poultry industry cannot completely eliminate the risk of illness associated with raw poultry. All raw chicken must be properly handled to avoid cross contamination and fully cooked to 165 degrees to ensure safety.