A Cargill official confirmed Monday about 130 workers will be laid off from the Springdale plant and a recent turkey recall is to blame, according to this report from KFSM 5 News.
Mike Martin, the company’s director of communications, says the plant hasn’t produced any ground turkey since Sept. 9 and the plant has had trouble “finding things for people to do.”
Company officials held a meeting Monday to determine how to handle the lack of production and where to place workers. Some of the workers from the company’s ground turkey production line have been moved to other parts of the plant.
The company hopes to be able to rehire workers once the U.S. Department of Agriculture gives them approval to resume ground turkey production.
The plant employs about 1,200 people in Springdale.
The Food Safety Inspection Service of the USDA announced Aug. 3 that about 36 million pounds of ground turkey and turkey products produced at Cargill’s Springdale plant had been recalled because of possible salmonella contamination.
The FSIS followed up with a Sept. 11 announcement that the Cargill plant had produced 185,000 pounds of ground turkey products linked to a salmonella outbreak.
Both product recalls were classified as a Class I, meaning the contaminated products were a “high” health risk.
The FSIS recalls fall in the following three classes:
• Class I
This recall involves a health hazard situation in which there is a reasonable probability that eating the food will cause health problems or death.
• Class II
A Class II recall involves a potential health hazard situation in which there is a remote probability of adverse health consequences from eating the food.
• Class III
This recall involves a situation in which eating the food will not cause adverse health consequences.