Tag Archives: deaths

Coronavirus, COVID-19

“Uncontrolled COVID-19 Cases”: Foster Farms Temporarily Shuts Down Plant Following Eight Worker Deaths

By Food Safety Tech Staff
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Coronavirus, COVID-19

The 2020 Food Safety Consortium Virtual Conference Series will discuss COVID-19 Lessons Learned and Worker Safety | The Event runs September 3 through December 17 | Register NowA poultry processing plant operated by Foster Farms must shut down per the Merced County Department of Public Health (California) as a result of a large COVID-19 outbreak that has resulted in the death of eight employees. At least 358 workers at the facility located in Livingston, California have tested positive for COVID-19 (an outbreak was officially declared on June 29). Several buildings make up the Livingston facility, which employs about 2600 workers.

“In view of increasing deaths and uncontrolled COVID-19 cases, the decision was made to order the Livingston Plant within the Foster Farms Livingston Complex closed until acceptable safety measures are in place,” said Dr. Salvador Sandoval, Merced County’s Public Health Officer. In addition, the Los Angeles Times reports that officials are concerned the outbreak could be worse than reported because universal worker testing has not been completed.

The plant will reportedly close until September 7. During the closure, the facility will be deep cleaned and employees will engage in a new round of testing. Merced County states that an employee cannot return to work until he or she receives two negative COVID-19 test results within seven days.

Susanne Kuehne, Decernis
Food Fraud Quick Bites

Food (or Beverage) Fraud That Kills

By Susanne Kuehne
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Susanne Kuehne, Decernis
Food fraud, methanol, alcohol, Costa Rica
Find records of fraud such as those discussed in this column and more in the Food Fraud Database. Image credit: Susanne Kuehne

Methanol is highly toxic for humans, and increased amounts can show up in fraudulent or illegal alcoholic beverages. Dozens of methanol poisoning cases still happen every year around the world, some of them being deadly, according to the World Health Organization (WHO). The FBI is assisting the Costa Rican Police in the investigation of 20 recent deaths that are possibly methanol-related. Costa Rican authorities have searched a production facility, seized liquor and issued a nationwide alert.


Knowles, H. (July 24, 2019). “Tainted alcohol has led to 20 deaths in Costa Rica, authorities say”. The Washington Post.