Bongrain Cheese USA, New Holland, Pa., said it completed a "significant expansion" at its West Coast (Fleur De Lait) plant in the City of Industry, Calif.  Officials said the expansion "represents an investment in and commitment to increasing the capacity of production, improving safety and security of product, and boosting efficiency of the plant."

“Manufacturing, processing and delivering the highest quality product to our customers is what drives our business at BC-USA, and we are always searching for the best ways to streamline and enhance this process,” says Frank Otis, BC-USA president. “Demonstrating our commitment to deliver on this promise, we have expanded our California production and storage facility, increased its capacity, and installed the latest, most energy-efficient filtration system and equipment – the first of its kind used in our industry.”

Otis said plant investments include but are not limited to:

Increasing capacity of production: These major facility improvements allow for better flow of production by doubling the amount of product being produced, increasing silo storage of milk and cream, providing more refrigerators for product cooling, and increasing production to seven days a week.

Improving quality of product: BC-USA said it created a new area with filtered air and more sensitive air pressure to protect the product as it is being filled and packaged. Based on the latest European models for food production, this new "clean room" area is the first of its kind in the United States to be used in a foodservice production facility.

Improving quality: BC-USA said it is a pioneer in utilizing the HEPA (High Efficiency Particulate Air) filtration system in the food industry for the production of cheese products. This state of the art, one-of-a-kind air filtration system is typically only used in pharmaceutical manufacturing, and is intended to enhance cleanliness, protect the product during packaging, and minimize the risk of contamination. This filters out all air bacteria within the facility, maintaining and controlling air quality throughout the plant. The new system not only aligns with BC-USA’s record of safety, but also ensures customers will receive the highest quality of cheeses from the plant.

Improving efficiency: A new, state-of-the-art boiler system will use less natural gas, thus saving natural resources. The first of its kind to be used by any BC-USA company, this boiler system will be the prototype for all other plants if proven successful.

“Over the past six months, BC-USA has invested a significant amount of time and commitment to improving the West Coast plant,” concluded Otis. “The newest advancements will take our facility to the next level and set the bar high for production of great quality cheese for our customers.”

Bongrain Cheese USA is the U.S. subsidiary of  Bongrain SA, based in Viroflay, France. BC-USA produces specialty cheeses at Fleur de Lait–East in New Holland, Pa.; Kolb Lena Cheese Co. in Lena, Ill.; and Fleur de Lait–West in City of Industry.