Cargill invests $8 million at Fresno beef facility

by Eric Schroeder
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FRESNO, CALIF. — Cargill has invested $8 million at its Fresno beef production facility as part of expansion for food safety efforts, and to renovate and expand some packaging lines.

The company said $4.2 million has been earmarked for the installation of a hide-on-carcass wash that closely resembles a carwash for cattle in which the hides of animals are scrubbed with spinning bristles and a mild bromine solution that kills bacteria at the beginning of the harvesting process. According to Cargill, the process helps better assure removal of dirt and debris while washing the animal’s exterior, thereby minimizing the potential for contamination from bacteria that potentially pose a health risk to humans.

“People expect safe food, and Cargill’s Fresno beef facility prides itself on producing safe, fresh, quality meat products,” said John Niemann, vice-president and general manager. “It’s the meat that families of our 830-plus employees eat, and it’s the meat millions of additional consumers eat, so we work hard to deliver the safest products possible to all of our retail and food service customers. Food safety is a top priority at Cargill that we take seriously every minute the facility is operating. Our shared goal, together with others in the industry, as well as federal regulatory agencies, is to continuously develop and implement new and better measures that further improve food safety.”

The remaining $3.8 million will be used to renovate and expand some ground beef packaging lines at the Fresno facility. Finished products include packages of fresh ground beef that are transported by refrigerated trucks from the Cargill facility to distribution centers, then directly to grocery store meat cases. New equipment has been installed in the production area, which enables the packaging lines to operate more effectively and efficiently to meet customer needs, Cargill said.

“Investing in our facilities is good business,” Mr. Niemann said. “We are responsive to customer needs and realize that we are in business to help them succeed. When our customers are successful and prosper, that translates into a stronger, mutually beneficial, business relationship and profitable growth for both organizations.”

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