Fabrication and slaughter A and B shifts at the JBS Grand Island, Nebraska beef plant were suspended Monday following a five-alarm fire on the rendering side of the plant. The company halted operations for September 13 after fired crews battle a blaze that began Sunday evening and continued through the night. According to sources, the fire was in the roof and walls, making it difficult to completely extinguish it.
“Last night, there was a fire at our Grand Island, Neb., beef production facility. Thankfully, there were no injuries, and we appreciate the Grand Island fire department for their quick response and support,” Nikki Richardson, spokesperson for JBS USA, told Feedstuffs.
The Grand Island Fire Department posted an update Monday morning on Twitter, stating that a new fire crew had relieved those who battled the blaze overnight.
Richardson said the fire did not impact primary production areas of the plant and that operations were expected to resume Tuesday, pending ongoing assessment of the situation.
The JBS USA Grand Island facility is a two-shift, beef-processing plant in central Nebraska employing more than 3,600 people. Grand Island has the capacity to process more than 1,400,000 cattle per year and currently exports to 20 different countries around the world including Japan, Hong Kong, Mexico, Korea, Canada, Singapore and Chile.
In June, JBS USA announced an investment of more than $130 million to increase production capacities at its Grand Island and Omaha, Neb. beef plants. Work at the Grand Island plant includes constructing a new harvest floor and enhancing animal welfare facilities. The expansions, the company said, will increase processing capacity by nearly 300,000 head of cattle per year, providing increased access and opportunity for the more than 1,100 local cattle producers who support the facilities.