Beef Products Incorporated has suspended operations at three of their four plants where they manufacture lean finely textured beef.
Company co-owner Regina Roth says BPI is continuing operations at its South Sioux City plant but suspending operations completely at Waterloo, and plants in Amarillo, Texas and Garden City Kansas.
The South Sioux plant is operating with reduced shifts and 32 to 36 hour work weeks. Roth says the plant suspensions come amid a public outcry over concerns about the use of ammonia in processing its beef product.
hat process has been safely used for at least 20 years but recently became
a target of activists seeking to have it banned from supermarkets and school lunches.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture decided to allow school districts to stop using it. Some retail grocery chains have pulled products containing it.
The South Sioux plant is the largest BPI facility, employing around 450 people.
Roth says the plant shutdowns will affect many other businesses and suppliers:
Roth says employees at the suspended plants will continue to be paid for the next 60 days.