A home cook who wants to prevent salmonella can wash cutting boards, countertops and utensils thoroughly.

Foster Farms, which is dealing with a salmonella outbreak at its chicken plants in Livingston and Fresno, has a bigger job ahead. It must show that it can protect the public's health as it processes hundreds of thousands of birds delivered from poultry ranches every day.

The company said last week it is still collecting research as it responds to an outbreak that has sickened an estimated 317 people since March.

Bill Mattos, president of the California Poultry Federation in Modesto, said much of the future efforts will involve washing carcasses and equipment even more than Foster Farms was doing.

The Washington-based National Chicken Council urged consumers to cook chicken to at least 165 degrees Fahrenheit in order to ensure safety.

Staff and wire reports. Submit items to robert.digitale@pressdemocrat.com