Sanger, California, Poultry Plant Worker Killed — Second Fatality There in 8 Months

Feb. 23, 2024
Pitman Family Farms employee Jose Abrego is the second person to die in a workplace incident at the embattled Sanger processing plant in less than a year.

Another fatal accident has occurred at Pitman Family Farms, a Sanger, Calif.-based poultry-processing company, the second worker to die while on the job at the plant in less than a year, according to a news report.

In the latest incident, the employee was killed Wednesday after entering “a dangerous area between the tractor-trailer and its rear wheels, resulting in fatal injuries,” according to a statement from the Sanger Police Department published in the Fresno Bee. The victim has been identified as 19-year-old Jose Abrego of Sanger.

In May 2023, Pitman Family Farms employee Jesus “Chuy” Salazar, 66, died after falling into a wastewater pit and drowning at the Sanger facility. Additionally, the U.S. Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OSHA) just closed a case against Pitman Family Farms earlier this month for the 2019 electrocution death of an employee at the company’s Chowchilla, Calif., facility.

Regulators have been notified for follow-up investigation of the most recent incident, police said. There was no indication of foul play, the report said.

Pitman Family Farms produces the Mary’s Chicken organic and free-range chicken brand and was the target of a scathing report by the Fresno Bee earlier this month on its worker safety record over the past decade.

About the Author

Andy Hanacek | Senior Editor

Andy Hanacek has covered meat, poultry, bakery and snack foods as a B2B editor for nearly 20 years, and has toured hundreds of processing plants and food companies, sharing stories of innovation and technological advancement throughout the food supply chain. In 2018, he won a Folio:Eddie Award for his unique "From the Editor's Desk" video blogs, and he has brought home additional awards from Folio and ASBPE over the years. In addition, Hanacek led the Meat Industry Hall of Fame for several years and was vice president of communications for We R Food Safety, a food safety software and consulting company.

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