USA – Tyson Fresh Meats, the beef and pork subsidiary of Tyson Foods has announced that it will resume limited operations at its pork plant in Columbus Junction, Iowa, on Tuesday 21st April, after being idle for two weeks due to COVID-19 concerns.
“Our first priority is protecting our team members while they fulfill their critical mission of feeding families across the country during this challenging time,” said Tyson Foods’ President, Dean Banks.
“We plan to increase production at Columbus Junction gradually, with the safety of our team members top of mind.”
As part of its efforts to protect its employees, Tyson Foods formed a coronavirus task force in January, which the company said has implemented numerous measures to protect workers including screening workers and is in the process of installing more than 150 infrared temperature scanners in its facilities.
The company has also initiated efforts to secure a supply of face coverings while further installing workstation dividers and providing more breakroom space at various facilities in an effort to promote social distancing.
While the company is resuming operations at the Columbus Junction pork plant, its other meat and poultry plants are also continuing with operations, with some running at reduced levels of production either due to the planned implementation of additional worker safety precautions or worker absenteeism.
The company has also suspended production for a day at some locations for additional deep cleaning and sanitization.
Amid the surging Coronavirus cases in the US, JBS USA announced On Monday 20th April, the indefinite closure of its Worthington, Minnesota, pork production facility, which employs more than 2,000 Nobles County team members and processes 20,000 hogs per day.
This follows the company’s previous decision to temporary half production at the Greeley beef production facility and launch of multiple additional efforts to support the fight against Coronavirus in Weld County, Colorado.
Cargill Meat Solutions, a 900-worker plant in Hazleton Pennsylvania has also closed operations joining its peers in the meat industry such as Smithfield Foods and Maple Leaf who have shut down their pork and poultry processing facility in Sioux Falls, South Dakota and Brampton, Ontario respectively.