ASHVILLE - AFA Foods is closing its Ashville ground beef processing plant.
Don Butler, plant manager, said the plant's last day of production will be Wednesday. He said the business employs just under 100, all of whom will be laid off.
AFA Foods filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in April following its connection to the ''pink slime'' controversy. Pink slime refers to mechanically separated and disinfected beef products. In the meat processing industry, pink slime is called lean finely textured beef and boneless lean beef trimmings. Butler said during the bankruptcy process, the Ashville plant's equipment was liquidated by another company.
AFA Foods’ Ashville plant will be closing Wednesday. Around 100 employees will be laid off because of the plant closing.
P-J photo by Dennis Phillips
In July, Butler said the company was trying to sell the Ashville operation like it had its other plants. AFA Foods, which is headquartered in King of Prussia, Pa., also had operated plants in California, Georgia, Pennsylvania and Texas.
Butler said the workforce at the Ashville plant was full of hardworking individuals.
''We have an excellent work group. I just hope local employers can find them some work,'' he said.
In July, company officials filed a worker adjustment and retraining notification with the state Labor Department, which indicated the plant would close on Oct. 16. That notification was updated Monday to change the date of the plant's closing to Wednesday. The notification listed the economy for why it was closing.
AFA Foods was once known as Fairbank Farms. The family-operated enterprise had its origins when Will Fairbank established a meat market on Third Street in Jamestown in 1897, according to past articles in The Post-Journal.
The company had conducted operations at its Ashville location since 1948. On March 8, 1989, the facility was destroyed in a fire that caused an estimated $15 million in damages. At the time, the parent company, Farmhouse Foods Corp., was not going to rebuild the business. However, under the leadership of Joe Fairbank, the business was purchased by Fairbank Reconstruction Corp. and rebuilt.