Plants Tied to Salmonella Outbreak Can Stay Open USDA says conditions have improved By Arden Dier, Newser Staff Posted Oct 11, 2013 10:42 AM CDT 5 comments Comments A truck enters the Foster Farms processing plant on Thursday, Oct. 10, 2013, in Livingston, Calif. (AP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli) (Newser) – The three California processing plants linked to the salmonella outbreak that has sickened nearly 300 people in 18 states will be allowed to stay open, the AP reports. USDA inspectors will conduct "intensified samplings" at the Foster Farms facilities for the next three months, but they're satisfied for now that the company has fixed its problems. The feds aren't recalling any chicken, either. They say the meat safe to eat as long as it's cooked to 165 degrees. That hasn't stopped retailers from taking the stuff off shelves, however, and Foster Farms will likely have a tough road ahead getting back in consumers' good graces, the Los Angeles Times reports. The company has a strong reputation, but the outbreak speaks to salmonella's evolving threat. "This is not your grandmother's salmonella anymore," says one expert. "It's a new salmonella, much more potent, and modified with the use of antibiotics on the farm." This particular strain has proven resistant to antibiotics.