This appears in the Q&A on www.kashrut.org , Rabbi Yitzhak Abbadi's website:
Is this true? Is it not true? If it is, is this sort of arrangement common practice? Is it permissible? Is it desirable? Would it happen if the plant were in Boro Park rather than Postville?
I know you probably don't want to answer this, and I guess I don't blame you. We had been told that the Rubashkin plant was operating on Shabbos and Yom Tov (the soaking and salting, butchering, packing and of
course shipping) and that Gentile employees were in control of the "kashrus is insured" labels too. We didn't want to believe it. One of the things that we noticed in the videos from PETA is that some of the shehita footage was
date stamped for Friday and I believe Erev Rosh Hashana too. If this were true, would this be permissible? With a Mashgiah? Without a Mashigiah? In other words, aside from the shehita issues, is it permissible to have
Gentiles soaking and salting (automated processes I assume), butchering, packing and shipping meat for the kosher consumer on Shabbos and Yom Tov? If a Mashgiah Temidi is required, (if it is permissible at all), is there one
and how do we know that there always is? (on Shabbos and Yom Tov. What if the Gentiles work without a Mashigiah Temidi, what does that do to the status of the meat? Thank you.
It certainly can be done properly on Shabbat with the right direction. Was it done properly, is it done properly? I don't know.