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Foster Farms Food Safety Update

LIVINGSTON, Calif., Oct. 9, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Ron Foster, President and CEO, provided the following information from the company:

On behalf of the Foster family, our company, and our more than 12,000 employees, I want to reassure you that we are taking every possible step to ensure the current and future safety of our chicken products. Food safety is, and has always been, at the heart of our business. I am deeply sorry for any illness associated with Foster Farms chicken and for any concern or confusion caused by this week's activity.

We have a 75-year history for excellence because of our commitment to continuous advancement in food safety. We are putting every resource we have toward the continued safety of our fresh chicken.

Consumers should know that as recently as Oct. 8, USDA-FSIS publicly assured the safety of our chicken: "Foster Farms chicken is safe to eat but, as with all raw chicken, consumers must use proper preparation, handling and cooking practices." There is no recall in effect and FSIS continues to inspect our poultry on a daily basis, certifying it as Grade A wholesome.

On Monday, as part of a public health alert reminding consumers about proper handling and cooking procedures, the USDA issued Notifications of Intended Enforcement (NOIE) for our plants in Livingston and Fresno. This is an official request by the USDA to demonstrate improved operations, or in this case for Foster Farms, to identify new measures toward Salmonella control in the company's Hazard Analysis Critical Control Plan (HACCP), and in their immediate implementation for mutual satisfaction.

Foster Farms is dedicated to resolving any concerns by the USDA. We are fully cooperating with FSIS during this process and are responding with new and already implemented practices in the affected plants. Some of these interventions have been in place for nearly two months and are proving to be successful. In addition, we have brought in national food safety experts to assess our processes.

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