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Fire at Smithfield Plant and Other Food Industry News

Powder & Bulk Solids highlights recent food and beverage manufacturing news you may have missed.

3 Min Read
Representative imageImage courtesy of Pixabay

A fire ignited inside of the Smithfield Foods pork processing plant in Monmouth, IL Thursday night, according to local news organizations and the fire department.

Crews were dispatched 6:42 p.m. after receiving word that flames and smoke were inside the facility, Monmouth Fire Department posted on its Facebook page.

Fire Chief Casey Rexroat told the Galesburg Register-Mail that the blaze occurred in a production area of the plant, but damages were minimal. The fire was brought under control in about three hours without injuries, according to Monmouth Fire. Several other area fire departments also responded to the incident.

Here are some other developments in the food and beverage industry that captured headlines over the last week:

Coffee Firm Lavazza to Open First US Roasting and Packing Plant

Italy-based coffee company Lavazza Group revealed plans Monday to build its first roasting and packing plant in the United States at its existing Lavazza Professional production site in West Chester, PA. During the project, the firm will add 1,000 sq ft to its 18,000-sq-ft facility that will roast and grind coffee for the US market. Lavazza roasted and ground coffee currently sold from the US market is sourced from Italy. The company said the Pennsylvania facility will lower its carbon footprint by cutting shipping. 

Ammonia Release at Emmi Roth Plant Prompts Evacuations

Emergency personnel were called to the Emmi Roth cheese production plant in Seymour, WI Saturday evening for an airborne anhydrous ammonia release. A HAZMAT team and firefighters worked to contain the release and the evacuation order was later lifted. Local television news station WBAY said the leak was controlled by 11:38 p.m. An investigation into the cause of the release is underway.

Tattooed Chef Buys 2 Mexican Food Plants for $35M

Plant-based food company Tattooed Chef entered into a deal to purchase New Mexico Food Distributors Inc. and Karsten Tortilla Factory LLC for $35 million, the company announced Monday, poising the company to expand its production capabilities and presence in the Hispanic foods market. The two companies are known collectively as Foods of New Mexico.

Monogram Foods Kicks Off Work on New Distribution Facility

Meat products manufacturer Monogram Foods has commenced construction of a new greenfield distribution facility in Haverhill, MA that will serve its production plants in the Boston area, according to a recent company announcement. One-third of the 135,000-sq-ft structure will be used for food production.  

Tyson Expands Presence in Plant-Based Space with New Products

American protein firm Tyson Foods is growing its presence in the plant-based foods space through the rollout of several new meat alternative products under its Raised & Rooted brand, the company announced Monday. Consumers will be able to purchase the new plant-based burger patties, Bratwurst, and Italian sausages at grocery stores this summer.

Soybean Dryer Fire Breaks Out at Perdue Farms Facility

Several fire departments responded to a Perdue Farms facility in Salisbury, MD on Wednesday after a fire ignited in a grain bin dryer at the site, several local news organizations reported. Officials told television news station WMDT that the containers became involved in the fire and smoke was visible a distance away from the Zion Church Road site. The blaze ignited in a piece of soybean drying equipment at about 6:40 p.m., coverage by CBS News affiliate WBOC said. Crews had doused the flames by 10 p.m., limiting damages to the dryer.

For more food and beverage industry articles, click here.

About the Author(s)

John S. Forrester

former Managing Editor, Powder & Bulk Solids

John S. Forrester is the former managing editor of Powder & Bulk Solids.

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