Cockroaches Shut Down Chicken Plant Linked to Salmonella Outbreak

Discovery of a massive cockroach infestation prompted federal inspectors to shut down a Foster Farms chicken-processing plant in California last month. The plant was one of several Foster Farms plants linked to an outbreak of antibiotic-resistant salmonella that sickened more than 400 people last summer. According to a CBS News report, the U.S. Department of Agriculture said the plant would remain closed until the company identified the source of the cockroach infestation and exterminated the pests.

One of the most significant problem pests in the food and restaurant industries, cockroaches carry and transmit dozens of disease organisms harmful to humans, including salmonella. Bacteria and parasitic worms cling to the insect’s body and are found in its feces and saliva. As cockroaches scurry across counters, tables and floors, they transmit these pathogens through their saliva and feces.

Cockroaches live in large colonies, often hidden in wall voids or behind counters where infestations can be difficult to find and treat. Never spray cockroaches with household pesticides. This may kill a few roaches but merely causes the bulk of the insect colony to relocate; making them more difficult to kill. For complete extermination, the source of the infestation must be found and the entire cockroach population eliminated.

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