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Connecticut Congresswoman Wants Beef Packers Closed

By CBS 47 TV

Concerns over the safety of our nation's beef supply could impact hundreds of Valley workers.

A Connecticut congresswoman wants to temporarily shut down Beef Packers incorporated in Fresno. The facility has recalled its beef twice this year; concerned it was contaminated with salmonella.

If the U.S.D.A. decides to shut down the plant, it could temporarily cost about 1,100 people their jobs.

Congresswoman Rosa DeLauro wants the government to ensure Beef Packers has fixed its problems internally and with suppliers.

Fresno County Supervisor Phil Larson said, “I think it's wrong and I think it’s an over reaction.”

Congresswoman DeLauro feels the processor is selling meat that's unsafe. In the past four months, Beef Packers has recalled more than 850,000 pounds of beef over concerns of salmonella.

Supervisor Larson believes the plant is taking action to fix any problems and says punishing employees doesn't make sense. Larson said, “You know Fresno County's the county that's been hit pretty hard with 40% unemployment on the west side, now you want to shut 1,100 people out of work here? I think that's ridiculous.”

Neither DeLauro nor plant management would talk with CBS47 on camera or by phone but in a written statement, the Connecticut Congresswoman said, “Given the repeated violations, the U.S.D.A. should close this facility and undertake a comprehensive examination." 

The Cargill owned company insists that investigation is already taking place and said, “We will be convening a panel of respected food safety and public health experts to conduct a third party evaluation."

During the recalls, more than 40 people were treated for salmonella poisoning across the country, including two in the Central Valley.

No word on when a decision whether to close the plant might be made.

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