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The U.S. Department of Agriculture is contemplating closing three California Foster Farms chicken plants after being involved in the salmonella outbreak.
According to NBC News, about 300 people, spread through 17 states, have become sick due to salmonella.
The USDA sent a letter to CEO Ron Foster on Monday saying high levels of salmonella Heidelberg had been detected at their plant in Livingston as well as the two in Fresno. Foster was given through Thursday to respond, or the plants would be closed as inspections are canceled.
"The prevalence of Salmonella in finished poultry products poses a risk to public health," the letter said. Monday, the USDA sent out a public health alert over the possibility of illness.
Foster Farms has yet to issue any recalls of its infected products in Washington, California and Oregon. The issue focuses primarily on raw chicken pieces.
The Los Angeles Times reports that due to the salmonella outbreak, furloughed employees at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention returned to work, though not enough will recalled to handle the situation.
"There's a backlog, and the team is going to have to work diligently and long hours to try and overcome that," Dr. Christopher Braden said earlier in the week.