Hanford meat plant reopens after investigation

August 27, 2012 12:00:00 AM PDT
Hundreds of workers are back on the job days after the South Valley slaughterhouse where they were employed was shut down after a video surfaced that triggered an animal abuse investigation.

The Central Valley Meat Company is located in Hanford at Highway 198 and 9th Avenue.

The parking lot at the Hanford meat plant was full Monday as more than 400 employees were able to return to work after being off for a week.

The meat processing plant in Hanford was back in operation after being shutdown for a week as more than 400 employees were able to return to work.

"The impacts in terms of the employees we know was direct. Those 400, almost 500 families felt the impact of a week without a paycheck," Congressman Jim Costa, D-Fresno, said.

Congressman Jim Costa was in communication with the U.S. Department of Agriculture and plant operators to open the facility as quickly as possible.

Operations in the plant were temporarily suspended after an animal rights group released undercover video showing cows being poked, prodded and shocked inside the slaughterhouse.

"Mistakes happen, and certainly, I think central valley meat's management team and the plan they've submitted are prepared to address all the issues that have been raised," Rep. Costa said.

In a statement the company said it worked closely with inspectors and industry experts to develop the corrective action plan approved by the USDA. "As a result, Central Valley Meat will provide better training for our workers, better monitoring of our facilities, and more frequent third-party audits of our operations. We believe these measures will establish a new industry standard for the handling of animals," it read.

They also indicate that their employees will be thoroughly trained on the euthanasia process that takes place on a slaughter line, so there are clarity that the employees are properly trained on how to do their job.

Once the USDA accepted the company's action plan they were given the okay to resume operations - a huge relief for employees looking forward to getting back to work.


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