The Ottumwa Courier

Local News

March 11, 2008

USDA briefly suspends Cargill

Employees sent home after harvest section shut down

OTTUMWA — A number of employees were sent home early from work Tuesday when the “harvest” section of the Cargill Meat Solutions plant in Ottumwa was shut down due to an alleged U.S. Department of Agriculture violation.

Amanda Eamich, spokeswoman for the Food Safety and Inspection Service Department of the USDA, would only provide a few details of an incident related to a loose hog at the facility.

She said if animals are loose, they have the potential of hurting themselves or others and that could be considered an “inhumane practice.”

“We issued [Cargill] a notice of suspension, which has been placed in abidance,” Eamich said Tuesday afternoon. “As soon as we’ve OK’d their corrective action plan, they can go ahead and start to operate again. It’s all up to how soon the company can respond. We don’t prescribe how things are done. We just have to OK their plan of action for correcting the situation.”

Late Tuesday, Cargill Plant Manager Randy Zorn told the Courier that the situation had been resolved and a corrective action plan had been issued.

“We communicated closely with the USDA and there was a careful understanding between the company and the USDA,” he said.

Zorn said the incident involved just one loose hog and the matter would be evaluated and investigated further by company officials.

“We take pride in knowing we adhere to standards set by the American Meat Institute and the USDA guidelines,” he said. “Our process is monitored and audited from the time the trucks arrive here through the entire process.”

As of 5 p.m. Tuesday, the plant was back in operation on the harvest floor, Zorn added.

“When we see something, we will act immediately to resolve it,” Eamich said.

Scott Niles can be reached at (641) 683-5360 or via e-mail at

Text Only
Local News
  • 0417 OTT Earth day color photo 1 -T -M Cargill celebrates Earth Day by educating ALBIA — In honor of Earth Day on Tuesday, April 22, employees from Cargill Eddyville and Cargill Pork are visiting with students at Grant Elementary and Lincoln Center in Albia all this week. On Wednesday the Courier caught up with them as they went

    April 16, 2014 3 Photos

  • 0417 OTT Saving Center color photo -T -L -M Hedrick building has friends HEDRICK — The community wants a civic center, and they've been willing to work for it. "I'd say we have 15 to 25 volunteers each time," Tommy Smith of Hedrick said. "These are all good people." Smith was volunteering his services at the Easter Brunch

    April 16, 2014 1 Photo

  • Southern Iowa farmers preparing for planting OTTUMWA — Even though the winter seemed to linger like Iowa was going through an ice age and cold and wet weather has highlighted the early spring, farmers are starting to get out to their fields to put down fertilizer and get fields ready for planti

    April 16, 2014

  • 0417 OTT Camp Wapello fence photo -T -M -L Good fence irritates good neighbor DRAKESVILLE — For 82 years, Camp Wapello’s iconic entryway has welcomed people to peacefully coexist with nature. Now there’s a 400-foot barbed wire fence down the middle of the road. In February, Davis County Supervisors approved vacating of portion

    April 16, 2014 1 Photo

  • Carrying bookbags a balancing act OTTUMWA — Permission slips. Notes from teachers. School activity announcements, birthday invitations, report cards and homework to sign. Kids bring home a lot of stuff. But is it done fairly? The school board this week was asked by ranking members of

    April 16, 2014

  • Van Buren supervisors deny hog confinement permit application KEOSAUQUA — A proposed swine building in Chequest Township didn’t receive a seal of approval from Van Buren County Board of Supervisors. Supervisors voted Monday to recommend to the Department of Natural Resources (DNR) to deny the permit. Supervisor

    April 16, 2014

  • 0417 OTT Beth Howard bw cover -L -T -M 'Ms. American Pie' tours with her new book ELDON — With many hours and countless miles on her RV "The Beast," Eldon's pie lady, Beth Howard, is celebrating the release of her new book with a tour of southwestern states. Howard's second book, "Ms. American Pie: Buttery Good Pie Recipes and Bol

    April 16, 2014 2 Photos

  • Van Buren to share FFA with Harmony KEOSAUQUA — Van Buren Community School Board approved a recommendation from its administration to share the ag program with Harmony for the 2014-15 school year. The decision means that Van Buren students would travel to Harmony to receive ag instruct

    April 16, 2014

  • Attorney withdraws after client disappears OTTUMWA — Authorities are still looking for an Ottumwa man who didn’t show up for court proceedings. When they find him, he’ll need a new attorney. Jacob Nordyke faces charges of interference with official acts and possession of drug paraphernalia. H

    April 16, 2014

  • Waste Management wants to stay in Keosauqua KEOSAUQUA — Waste Management told the city of Keosauqua that it was not interested in ending the contract it has for solid waste and recycling services it provides to the city. A representative told the city mayor that it intends to fulfill the contr

    April 16, 2014

Photo reprints