Following back-to-back Salmonella outbreaks linked to chicken from Foster Farms, one of the company’s processing plants in Kelso, WA, continued to have dozens of health violations in 2014, according to records obtained by Portland, OR, TV station KGW.
KGW obtained federal inspection reports for the Kelso plant dating from March to September 2014, which show 40 food safety violations during that six-month period.
The reports were written by inspectors and included instances of fecal material being found on chicken and complaints that the processing line speed was moving too fast.
On one occasion, a Foster Farms employee reportedly found a chicken carcass on the floor and placed it back on the line with clean chickens after accidentally kicking it.
KGW has made the documents free to be read online.
In response to the station’s report, Foster Farms said it is “committed to the highest levels of food safety” and regrets illnesses previously associated with their products.
Foster Farms has made headlines numerous times in the past several years for persistent Salmonella illnesses despite making serious efforts to reduce its contamination rate on raw chicken down to a reported 5 percent from the industry average of 25 percent.
In July 2014, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced the end of a 17-month outbreak of Salmonella linked to Foster Farms chicken that sickened at least 634 people. While that outbreak was going on, the company’s products were tied to another multi-state Salmonella outbreak that sickened at least 134 people.