Smithfield Foods closing Cudahy plant after employees test positive for COVID-19

Bacon
CNN

SMITHFIELD, Va. — Smithfield Foods Inc. is closing its Cudahy, Wisconsin, meat processing plant for two weeks after a number of employees tested positive for COVID-19.

The company announced Wednesday the Cudahy dry sausage and bacon plant, along with the Martin City, Missouri, plant, are located in proximity to areas where community spread has been prevalent. The Martin City plant will be closed as the facility that provides raw materials is closed indefinitely.

“From farm to fork, our nation’s food workers, American family farmers and the many others in the supply chain are vital to the security of our country. This is particularly evident as we battle COVID-19 together. Please join me in thanking them,” said Kenneth Sullivan, president and chief executive officer for Smithfield.

Employees will be paid for the next two weeks. Essential personnel will repeat rigorous deep cleaning and sanitation at the facilities.

“We are doing everything in our power to help protect our team members from COVID-19 in the workplace. This starts with stringent and detailed processes and protocols that follow the strict guidance of the CDC and extends to things like the use of thermal scanning, personal protective equipment and physical barriers, to name a few. We are also being explicit with employees: ‘Do not report to work if you are sick or exhibiting COVID-19 symptoms. You will be paid,’” Sullivan said.

According to the U.S. Food & Drug Administration, there is no evidence of food or food packaging being associated with the transmission of COVID-19.