GRAND ISLAND, NEB. — A worker at the JBS USA’s beef processing plant in Grand Island, Neb., died on Jan. 14.

Currently, Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) and the meat producer are investigating the incident.

Local reports identified 48-year-old Esteban Mantilla as the person who passed away. 

JBS spokesperson Nikki Richardson released this statement to MEAT+POULTRY.

“On Friday (Jan.14), a tragic accident occurred at our Grand Island production facility resulting in the death of one of our team members,” she said. “We are deeply saddened, and our thoughts and prayers are with our team member’s family, co-workers and friends. We are working closely with local officials and OSHA to investigate the incident, and we are grateful to the emergency personnel for their quick response. We will be providing support to the family during this difficult time. Out of respect to our team member and the family, we will not provide further comment.”

In September 2021, the Grand Island plant operations were halted for a day following a fire in the rendering area. Full production continued a few days later.

During 2019, JBS announced a $95 million expansion for the processing facility. 

Some of the upgrades included new animal handling facilities, an updated, temperature-controlled harvest floor along with configuration changes. 

Swift & Co. built the Grand Island plant in 1965. JBS acquired the plant in 2007. JBS employs around 3,600 people at the facility.