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In brief: Foster Farms chicken plant reopens after infestation

Thu., Jan. 23, 2014, midnight

FRESNO, Calif. – A Central California chicken processing plant has resumed operations after shutting down for two weeks to combat an infestation of cockroaches.

Foster Farms in Livingston said Wednesday it had called its employees back to work after ensuring all necessary measures were taken to properly clean the plant.

Inspectors for the U.S. Department of Agriculture closed the plant Jan. 8 after finding cockroaches on five separate occasions over four months. That closure came three months after inspectors threatened a shutdown because of salmonella problems at the Livingston plant and two Foster Farms sites in Fresno.

Foster Farms issued no product recalls as a result of those problems, but advised consumers to handle chicken properly and cook it thoroughly.

Comcast could add electricity to services

Comcast Corp. may soon provide customers with retail electricity supply, along with its “Triple Play” bundle of cable, Internet and phone service.

Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission Chairman Robert F. Powelson said Wednesday the Philadelphia cable giant is working with a third-party supplier to include retail electricity in its bundle of services later this year.

Powelson disclosed the Comcast venture during public remarks after the release of a report that evaluates the nation’s competitive retail energy markets.

Powelson did not name the supplier with which Comcast is collaborating. But NRG Energy spokesman Dave Knox acknowledged his company is “working with Comcast on a new initiative.”

Comcast, which does not own a licensed electrical supplier in Pennsylvania, declined to comment through a spokeswoman.

Boat sales back up after recession

Interest in boating has picked up months before the spring thaw.

Dealerships and industry experts say the steep decline in boat sales during the recession has reversed, with business inching back to more normal levels.

New powerboat sales were up 10 percent in 2012, the industry’s first sign of recovery, and this year powerboat sales are expected to be up another 5 percent to 7 percent, according to the National Marine Manufacturers Association.

Leading the industry’s growth are small fiberglass and aluminum outboard boats 26 feet or less in size, which continued their climb in 2013 with a 6.7 percent increase in the number of boats sold. Ski and wakeboard boats also did well, with sales up 11.7 percent.


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