Page 1 of 6
FOSTER FARMS: REVIEW, COMMITMENT, ACTION AND RESULTS
Foster Farms regrets any illness associated with our fresh chicken products. Our consumers are
most important to us, so we have always taken special care to ensure the quality and safety of
A series of new processes developed with the input of experts in relevant fields and
incorporated at our California facilities are already further reducing Salmonella incidence in our
fresh chicken products. Working with U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) approval, we are
determined to significantly outperform the industry average for Salmonella incidence, which is
approximately 25 percent for chicken parts. While there is no published government standard
for this stage in poultry processing, we are aiming for five percent or less, which means Foster
Farms would lead the industry in Salmonella control. Initial test results show significant progress
toward meeting our goal.
Salmonella is a complex issue for the poultry industry, particularly because the bacteria are
inherent in bird species. Foster Farms is focused on breaking the chain of Salmonella at every
stage of production – from the farms where the birds live, to the plants where the chicken is
processed and to the packaging area.
Food Safety System Review
As soon as the USDA and Centers for Disease Control (CDC) made us aware of the association of
some of the illnesses to our products, we immediately reviewed our comprehensive food safety
system with the help of leading food safety experts and developed a plan to implement system
enhancements. This plan has been approved by the USDA, and to ensure the ongoing review of
our food safety system, we are developing a Food Safety Advisory Committee of experts who
will continuously advise us on how to further strengthen our processes.
Current Standard for Controlling and Testing for Salmonella
To verify raw chicken is safe for consumption by the public, USDA verifies the efficacy of all U.S.
producers’ Salmonella control systems by testing samples pulled from production. During
processing, all raw chicken undergoes two main processes: the first process to cleanse, prepare
and inspect the whole body of the chicken and the second process to convert the body into
portions for sale, either as a whole chicken or its separate parts.
The operating principle, followed by both government regulators and the poultry industry, has
been that if producers had sufficiently controlled Salmonella at the end of the first process, they
had sufficiently controlled the potential exposure to Salmonella throughout all production.