Hillshire turkey plant returns to production after fire in March
Comeback has been gradual, with plant expected to resume full production on December 4
A Hillshire Brands turkey processing plant in Storm Lake, Iowa, has been rebuilt and has resumed operations after being heavily damaged by a fire on March 22. The turkey plant’s return to production has been gradual, with a return to full production anticipated to occur on December 4.
A ceremony marking the return of plant operations will also be held on December 4, according to a Sioux City Journal report.
The fire occurred as a result of a welding accident, investigators determined. The blaze caused more than $30 million worth of damaged and required about 50 firefighters to extinguish.
Hillshire Brands, and its new parent company Tyson Foods, kept the turkey processing plant's more than 600 employees on the payroll while the plant was being rebuilt. Many of the plant’s workers also were involved with the reconstruction process.
During the plant’s hiatus, plant management and local health care facilities also established a workplace exercise program to ensure employees would be in top shape for their return to work.
Hillshire Brands slaughtered 402.0 million pounds of live turkeys in 2013, according to the WATT Global Media Top Companies Database. Hillshire was acquired by Tyson Foods on August 28 for a price of $8.55 billion.