American poultry processor Fit Foodz invests US$15M in new plant

US – Atlanta-based poultry processing company, Fit Foodz, is investing over US$15 million in constructing a new seven-acre poultry processing facility in Tuscaloosa, Alabama.

The company said the new facility will include a raw processing line and a fully‐cooked line, which is expected to create 180 new jobs.

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The female-owned poultry company added that it will receive an abatement of the non‐educational sales and taxes for up to 10 years from the Alabama Department of Revenue.

The amount from the abatement, estimated at US$1.08 million, will be used by the company to purchase equipment and building materials during construction.

Construction of the new facility is scheduled for Q3 2022 and the company expects to complete the hiring of the 180 hourly and salaried jobs by the end of year three of operations.

The Tuscaloosa operation is said to allow Fit Foodz to better serve the US market and fulfill the US government contracts.

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According to USDA, the US poultry industry is the world’s largest producer and second-largest exporter of poultry meat and a major egg producer.

US consumption of poultry meat (broilers, other chicken, and turkey) is considerably higher than beef or pork, but less than total red meat consumption.

The poultry market is poised for even higher growth driven by an increase in health awareness toward animal protein-rich diet, and growing demand for processed and convenience foods.

Moreover, price affordability of processed poultry meat products, unflinching government support, and unprecedented growth of the retail sector is expected to generate potential opportunities for the market.

Allied Market Research, a market research firm, projects the global processed poultry meat market that generated US$252.4 billion in 2020 to reach US$592.7billion by 2031, witnessing a CAGR of 7.4% from 2022 to 2031.

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Even as the US market for poultry meat is to experiencing growth and expansion, it is also facing a lot of scrutiny over cases of Salmonella outbreaks in the products that have led to recalls.

In May, meat and poultry giant Cranswick Country Foods recalled more than 100 products containing its ready-to-eat chicken after a routine internal inspection identified the presence of salmonella at its poultry processing plant in Hull.

A few days ago, the US Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) announced that it will be declaring salmonella an adulterant in breaded and stuffed raw chicken products that are found in the frozen food section.

FSIS also noted that USDA announced in October 2021 that it was reevaluating its strategy for controlling salmonella in poultry.

The department plans to present a proposed framework for a new comprehensive strategy to reduce Salmonella illnesses attributable to poultry in October and convene a public meeting to discuss it in November.

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