Fire shuts down Nebraska JBS beef plant

A fire Sunday evening at the JBS USA beef processing facility in Grand Island, Nebraska halted operations on Monday.  The facility processes about 6,000 head of cattle daily.  And while the plant was shut down on Monday, JBS, in a statement to Brownfield says they expect to resume operations on Tuesday, pending an ongoing assessment of the situation. The company says the fire did not impact the primary production area.

The plant’s Facebook page announced that its two shifts will not report to work on Monday. According to local news outlets the fire has been contained to the walls and in the roof and has not breached the slaughtering side of the plant. No injuries were reported.

The company announced earlier this year it was investing $130 million to increase production capacities at two of its major processing facilities in Grand Island and Omaha, Nebraska.  The expansion at the Grand Island facility was set to finish late this summer.

This is the second fire at a major beef-processing facility in the last three years.  The Tyson fire at the Holcomb, Kansas plant in 2019 eventually triggered a USDA investigation into market practices as live cattle prices declined and packer margins increased exponentially. 

The JBS plant in Grand Island is a two-shift plant and employs more than 3,600 people and processing more than 1,400,000 cattle per year.

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