In order to expand its extensive food-safety efforts and to renovate and expand some packaging lines, Cargill invested $8 million at its Fresno, CA beef production facility.

The larger of the two expenditures, $4.2 million, is for installing a hide-on carcass wash for cattle in which the hides of animals are scrubbed with spinning bristles and a mild bromine solution that kills bacteria at the beginning of the harvesting process. According to Cargill, this process helps better assure removal of dirt and debris while washing the animal's exterior, thereby minimizing the potential for contamination from bacteria that potentially pose a health risk to humans.

The hide-on carcass wash, which is used in concert with a number of food-safety measures already in place aimed at reducing bacteria such as E-coli O157: H7, provides the Fresno facility with another tool to reduce, and potentially eliminate, these randomly and naturally occurring bacteria.

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