Agriculture Secretary Ed Schafer, right, follows the work of USDA inspectors at the Cargill meat packing plant in Schuyler, Neb., Tuesday, July 8, 2008.The U.S. Agriculture Secretary expressed confidence in the nation's food safety system, but said the meat processing industry will always face challenges because the bacteria that animals carry evolves. (AP Photo/Nati Harnik)
GREAT BEND, Kan. (AP) _ A Kansas meatpacking plant in Great Bend says it will close down in July and move production to other facilities.
About 275 hourly and salaried employees of Great Bend Packing will lose their jobs. The meatpacking plant is owned by John Morrell & Co., a subsidiary of Smithfield Foods.
Company president Joseph Sebring says in a news release the closure will improve the company's competitiveness and enhance its ability to better provide products and customer service.
The plant processes pork and smoked meats.
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