Cheap Somali Muslim immigrant labor can end up costing meat packing companies like JBS Swift their reputations, not to mention incurring large financial losses from recalls.
It was just a few weeks ago BNI reported that another Meat Packing company, Cargill, which was sued by Somali Muslim migrant employees over a prayer break dispute, had to recall 66 tons of ground beef following an outbreak of one death and 17 illnesses that were reported due to E. coli contamination.
Food Safety News This week, JBS Swift headquartered in Greeley, CO that is recalling even more meat than Cargill. JBS Swift is recalling 6.5 million pound of meat in 16 states that was found tainted with salmonella, resulting in 57 cases of salmonella poisoning, one of the most common bacterial foodborne illnesses.
Though not usually deadly, the most common symptoms of salmonellosis are diarrhea, abdominal cramps, and fever within 12 to 72 hours after eating the contaminated product. Older adults, infants, and persons with weakened immune systems are more likely to develop a severe illness
The recall is for more than 6.5 million pounds of beef products from JBS Tolleson Inc. in Tolleson, AZ. The traceback investigation by FSIS, the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and state health and agriculture agencies have identified JBS as the common supplier of the various raw, non-intact beef products.
The recalled products bear establishment number “EST. 267” inside the USDA mark of inspection. The recalled beef was shipped to retail locations and institutions nationwide. The recalled products list is 31-pages long and may be accessed only in PDF form here. The raw, non-intact beef items, including ground beef, were packaged on various dates from July 26 to Sept. 7 this year.
JBS Tolleson, a unit of JBS USA Holdings Inc., is located at the west end of Arizona’s Salt River Valley. It employs more than 1,200 employees, many of them Somali Muslim migrants.
Greeley, CO-based JBS USA is the American food processing company that is a wholly owned subsidiary of JBS S.A., a Brazilian company that is the world’s largest beef producer. Both JBS and Cargill hire extensively from the Somali Muslim refugee population with the help of the nine federal resettlement contractors and the US State Department.
Below is the video of Somali Muslim employees protesting at JBS Swift after the company refused to bow to their demands for several breaks for prayer during the working hours. The company then told employees, that the next group of employees that refused to work would be terminated. Those who did not return to work that night were fired. They sued the company and lost.