Smithfield suspends pork production at 2 major plants, Jennie-O idles 3 turkey facilities and more
The “COVID-19 Meat Processing Plant Closures” listing will be updated as news breaks. Check back often.
Throughout the past few weeks, many meat processing and packing facilities have closed due to employees infected by the novel coronavirus (COVID-19).
To deter the spread of COVID-19 in meat processing facilities, U.S. Center for Disease Control (CDC) and U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) have issued an interim guidance for Meat and Poultry Processing Workers and Employers.
The guidance cites several distinctive factors that affect workers’ COVID-19 exposure risk in meat and poultry processing workplaces, including the distance between workers and the duration of contact during a shift. To combat these and other conditions that can make workers vulnerable, the agencies have broken out preventive measures and related recommendations into two categories: engineering controls, e.g. work station alignment and protective barriers, and administrative controls, e.g. social distancing protocols and staggered break times.
COVID-19 meat processing plant closures
Here is a listing of the COVID-19-related meat processing plant closures reported from April 26-May 2, 2020.
Smithfield Foods said it would suspend operations at its facility in Monmouth, Illinois, after “small number” of employees tested positive for COVID-19. The plant accounts for 3% of the fresh pork supplies in the U.S.
The Kane County, Illinois, Health Department ordered Smithfield to close its facility due to concerns about COVID-19. The order temporarily closes the facility so the health department can work with the company in mitigation efforts as well as providing education relative to social distancing and employee safety relative to personal protective equipment.
Jennie-O Turkey Store will temporarily pause operations at its Willmar Avenue and its Benson Avenue facilities, both located in Willmar, Minnesota.
Tyson Fresh Meats, the beef and pork subsidiary of Tyson Foods, will temporarily halt production at its Pasco, Washington, beef facility while team members undergo testing for COVID-19.
JBS said it would temporarily close its packing plant in Green Bay, Wisconsin, “in an effort to flatten the curve.” The company said team members would be paid during the closure.
Jennie-O Turkey Store will temporarily discontinue operations at its plant in Melrose, Minnesota.
Tyson Foods will temporarily close its poultry plant in Robards, Kentucky, in order to undergo additional cleaning and sanitation efforts after employees at the plant tested positive for COVID-19.
Tyson Fresh Meats, the beef and pork subsidiary of Tyson Foods, is winding down production and will temporarily pause operations May 1-4 at its Dakota City, Nebraska, beef facility to complete a deep cleaning of the entire plant.
View our continuing coverage of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.