USDA investigates incident at Wayne Farms facility

by Erica Shaffer
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Wayne Farms officials are working with the USDA to investigate the discovery of  foreign material.

LAUREL, Miss. – Foreign material found on a poultry processing line at a Wayne Farms LLC plant in Laurel led to a federal investigation into whether the material was deliberately planted. The Office of the Inspector General Investigative Division of the US Dept. of Agriculture is investigating the incident which occurred March 3.

“It was the beginning of second shift, all product was put on hold for further investigation,” the company said in a statement. “Wayne Farms is working in collaboration with the USDA, and can make no further comment until the investigation is complete.”

Production has continued at Wayne Farms. Company officials said there is no food safety concern for consumers.

Oakwood, Georgia-based Wayne Farms is the sixth largest poultry processor in the United States with annual sales of more than $1.9 billion. The company, which is a subsidiary of Continental Grain Co., owns and operates 11 fresh and further-processed facilities throughout the Southeast and produces more than 2.6 billion lbs. of poultry products annually.

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