Foster Farms is suing Orkin LLC, charging the pest control company was to blame for cockroaches that resulted in a three-day shutdown of its Livingston poultry facility in January.
The lawsuit, filed late last month in Merced Superior Court, claims Orkin should pay damages for failing to fulfill a contract to control cockroaches at the processing plant. The U.S. Department of Agriculture suspended operations at the Foster Farms plant because roaches were found on four occasions.
Orkin and a subsidiary, Orkin Services of California, are named as defendants in the lawsuit. Orkin filed a motion Wednesday seeking to move the case to the federal court in Fresno.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reportedly has tied 574 cases of salmonella illness to raw chicken from the Foster Farms plant in Livingston and two smaller plants in Fresno. The USDA Food Safety and Inspection Service notified Foster Farms last fall that the presence of cockroaches was a sign of unsanitary conditions at the plant.