Food processors take extra precautions for employee health
U.S. meat processors are taking additional precautions for their employees because of the coronavirus.
Tyson Foods and Cargill issued statements saying they now conduct temperature testing of employees, along with implementing additional travel and social distancing policies. Tyson says it is also waiving co-pays and deductibles for telemedicine, doctor visits, and COVID-19 testing.
Smithfield Foods says they are quarantining employees for 14 days with pay if quarantined by a medical professional or the company as a result of a diagnosis or exposure to the virus.
Media reports say a confirmed case of COVID-19 was found at a Sioux Falls, South Dakota Smithfield Foods plant a week ago, and poultry processor Sanderson Farms has seven employees at home on quarantine in Mississippi. A federal food safety inspector who works at a New York City meat processing plant has died from the virus.
State ag departments including Wisconsin are working closely with processors to monitor and help protect against further infection.
Federal officials say there is no evidence the virus is spread by food.