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Organic Chicken Sales Increasing After Salmonella Outbreak

SACRAMENTO, Calif. -- Foster Farms is working to repair it's image, after three California processing plants were linked to a nationwide salmonella outbreak.
SACRAMENTO, Calif. -- Foster Farms is working to repair it's image, after three California processing plants were linked to a nationwide salmonella outbreak.

Hundreds have gotten sick. Now the company is trying to rebound and the organic chicken industry gets a boost.

"It has influenced me a little bit and I am careful about what I eat," says one California shopper.

The salmonella outbreak in Foster Farms brand chicken may be pushing customers away from the brand and toward birds that are antibiotic free.

"We have seen about a 10% increase in our chicken sales since the outbreak," Julia Thomas, woner of Thomas Natural Foods Co-Op of Sacramento.

Thomas says salmonella type cases are good for the organic food movement.  "Whenever there is some kind of problem- whether it be produce or meat, and often times it is meat- we do see more sales in our meat department."

It is a market share that is slowly slipping away from Foster Farms. Public relations executive Scott Rose says customers will need to see four things happen before coming back.
"The company needs to acknowledge what happened, take responsibility of what happened, find out why it happened and do things to ensure it never happens again."

If handled properly- one of the country's largest poultry producers should be able to bounce back.  But Rose adds erasing the tie to salmonella quickly will be key.
"If this keeps rolling on- dragging on- the more exposure- the more difficult it is going to be to recover."

But for some,  it is too late.  They believe the health risks just are not worth going back to Foster Farms.


(Rob McCallister, KOVR for CBS Newspath)

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