Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Georgia's Illegal Immigrants Responsible For Salmonella Outbreak?

Sylvester, GA
A nationwide outbreak of salmonella has been traced to jars of Peter Pan and Wal-mart "Great Value" brands of peanut butter manufactured at a ConAgra Foods processing plant in an illegal immigrant infested region of south Georgia.

The Center For Disease Control announced last week that between August 2006 and January 2007 almost 300 people in 39 states, including Georgia had contracted the disease. The CDC released a report which can be viewed here.

ConAgra Foods has recalled all containers of this peanut butter with product codes beginning with the numbers 2111, which indicate the product's origin at a food processing plant in the south Georgia town of Sylvester. ConAgra said today that the recall will cost them $50-60 million.

Neither the CDC nor ConAgra Foods have confirmed any source for the contamination of the products at the Sylvester, Ga plant. The plant has been closed until the source of the contamination is determined.

ConAgra, like many other large corporations, participates in a diversity program which can be viewed here. These government sanctioned programs allow companies to openly discriminate against more qualified personnel in favor of less qualified individuals based on that individual's race, religion, national origin, etc. Many of these companies also utilize illegal immigrants as a key element in their labor force as part of their celebration of diversity.

Hiring of illegal aliens in this region of Georgia is an immense and steadily increasing problem. The illegals work for very low wages, saving the corporations big money on payroll. American citizens (i.e. people who pay taxes) can't afford to work for what the immigrants will work for. This means Americans are out of jobs when companies are hiring illegals.

Aside from there being no jobs for Americans when companies employee illegals, there is also a downside that many of the companies may not consider when they employee undocumented workers. A recent government sweep of illegal immigrants in another south Georgia town devastated a poultry processing plant after a large percentage of the company's employees were arrested.

The Crider Poultry plant in Stillmore, Ga was forced to raise wages at least twice in an effort to attract new employees after over one hundred undocumented workers who had previously staffed the plant were deported. Even after raising wages the second time, the Crider plant still was not able to maintain sufficient labor for daily operations and may be forced to close and transfer operations to another plant in Alabama, which means fewer jobs in Georgia.

ConAgra Foods manufactures various food products sold under many national brands including Peter Pan, Reddi-Whip, Chef Boyardee, Banquet, Healthy Choice, Kids Cuisine, Hunt's, Orville Redenbacher's and Hebrew National.

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