Foster Farms’ current food safety performance record is recognized as being among the best in the industry. Foster Farms’ multi-hurdle program has been credited by the CDC and the USDA for its consistent control of Salmonella in raw chicken. The company has also been recognized for its leadership in controlling Salmonella by U.S. Senator Dianne Feinstein, a champion of improved food safety.
In 2013, Foster Farms implemented a $75 million food safety program that effectively reduced Salmonella system-wide from the breeder level, to the farms where the birds are raised and to the plants where the chicken is processed and packaged. This included improvements to equipment and processes, the implementation of a continuous testing program and food safety education.
Since April 2014, Foster Farms has worked to consistently maintain a company-wide Salmonella prevalence of less than 5 percent and the company remains committed to this level of performance. New USDA regulations for raw chicken parts permit a Salmonella presence level of 15.4 percent. Foster Farms continuously tests for food safety and has increased microbiological sampling by nearly 50 percent since 2013.
Foster Farms is working closely with the USDA, CDC, poultry industry and retailers to share its learnings in controlling Salmonella in the interest of creating a safer food supply system nationwide. The company continues to draw on the best food safety advice in and outside of the poultry industry through its Food Safety Advisory Board.
Foster Farms supports food safety education through its work with the Partnership for Food Safety Education, a national network of health and food safety educators. Foster Farms has worked directly with the California Department of Food and Agriculture, the Oregon Department of Agriculture, the Washington State Department of Agriculture, the California Poultry Federation and the Northwest Chicken Council to create communications programs designed to heighten consumer awareness about the safe way to handle and prepare chicken. Foster Farms has also funded innovative consumer research through the University of California Davis designed to better inform food safety education.
When preparing poultry at home, Foster Farms reminds home cooks to follow these guidelines for proper storage, handling and cooking.
Keep your refrigerator temperature at 40˚F or lower.
Store raw poultry on the bottom shelf, separate from ready-to-eat food.
Before starting food prep, wash your hands with soap for at least 20 seconds.
Thaw poultry in the refrigerator or the microwave, never at room temperature.
Do not rinse raw poultry.
Use a separate cutting board for cutting raw poultry and produce
Use separate utensils, plates and bowl for raw and cooked food.
Always use a meat thermometer to check for doneness. Poultry should be cooked to 165˚F and bone-in poultry should be cooked to 185 degrees.
For more information about preparing poultry, please visit the USDA website.