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Simmons recalls tons of state-tied chicken

Simmons Prepared Foods Inc. is recalling more than 2 million pounds of chicken that may have bits of metal in them, the U.S. Department of Agriculture said Wednesday.

A mix of wings, legs, breasts, tenders and whole chickens with labels tracing them back to three processing plants in Northwest Arkansas are subject to recall. They were processed between Oct. 21 and Monday and discovered by the Siloam Springs packer during further processing, the USDA said.

They came from Simmons facilities in Van Buren, Siloam Springs and Gentry and were shipped to eight states, including California and Pennsylvania, as well as sites in Arkansas. The USDA is concerned that some products may be "frozen and in institutional freezers" and urging the public not to serve them.

Recently, Simmons spent $300 million on a Gentry plant that is expected to have an annual capacity of 820 million pounds of poultry and increase the company's output by 28%. It opened last month.

According to the USDA's recall list, most of the listed products were processed at the new plant. The suspect products bear the numbers "P-1949," "P-486," or "P-5837."

-- Nathan Owens

Koch Foods planning Alabama grain mill

ATTALLA, Ala. -- An Illinois food-processing company has announced plans to expand its Alabama presence by building a $55 million grain storage and distribution facility in Attalla. reports Koch Foods officials and Gov. Kay Ivey attended a groundbreaking ceremony Tuesday for the 130-acre mill. The company expects to employ about 30 people there when it opens in two years. The governor's office says Koch will begin interviewing production workers in early 2021.

Attalla is northeast of Birmingham in Etowah County.

The Alabama Department of Commerce says Koch employs 3,000 people across four processing facilities in the state. Most recently, an $80 million expansion of its Gadsden, Ala., plant in 2018 added 200 jobs. The governor's office said that project made the Etowah County operation one of the largest poultry processing plants in the country.

-- The Associated Press

State index off 1.27 with 4 stocks on rise

The Arkansas Index, a price-weighted index that tracks the largest public companies based in the state, closed Wednesday at 463.49, down 1.27.

Four of the index stocks rose.

"Equities closed relatively unchanged, although stocks were pressured midday on reports that a meeting between President Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping may be delayed until December," said Leon Lants, managing director at Stephens Inc. in Little Rock.

The index was developed by Bloomberg News and the Democrat-Gazette with a base value of 100 as of Dec. 30, 1997.

Business on 11/07/2019

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