HAYWARD, Calif. – Construction is set to begin on a 55,000-sq.-ft. expansion of salame curing and processing operations at Columbus Foods. The company recently broke ground on the project, which should be completed by July 2015, according to plant officials.

Columbus Foods is investing $28 million in the expansion, which will feature robotics in material handling. The salame curing rooms will utilize specialized air handling units. Processing capacity will be 250,000 lbs. of salame per day.

“The growth of Columbus’ salame products continues to gather momentum, and we saw a need to increase our capacity by an additional 50 percent to meet demand,” Timothy Fallon, CEO and president of Columbus Foods. “Our traditional recipes, which utilize premium cuts of pork, proprietary spice blends and a lengthy curing process, are being recognized by consumers looking to experience authentic, superior-tasting products in the salumi category.”