Tyson Fresh Meats, the beef and pork subsidiary of Tyson Foods, will resume limited operations at its pork plant in Columbus Junction, Iowa, 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.”
Tyson Foods formed a coronavirus task force in January and has implemented numerous measures to protect workers. It was one of the first food companies to start taking worker temperatures and is in the process of installing more than 150 infrared temperature scanners in its facilities.
The company started efforts to secure a supply of face coverings before the CDC recommended them and now requires their use in all facilities.
In an effort to promote social distancing, many company facilities have installed workstation dividers and are providing more breakroom space.
The Columbus Junction pork plant, which produces fresh, boxed pork for shipment to foodservice and retail customers around the world, is an important market outlet to hundreds of independent pig farmers in the region.
Tyson Foods’ other meat and poultry plants continue 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 suspended production for a day at some locations for additional deep cleaning and sanitization.
About Tyson Foods
Tyson Foods is one of the world’s largest food companies and a recognized leader in protein. Founded in 1935 by John W. Tyson and grown under three generations of family leadership, the company has a broad portfolio of products and brands like Tyson, Jimmy Dean, Hillshire Farm, Ball Park, Wright, Aidells, ibp, and State Fair. Tyson Foods innovates continually to make protein more sustainable, tailor food for everywhere it’s available and raise the world’s expectations for how much good food can do. Headquartered in Springdale, Arkansas, the company has 141,000 team members. Through its Core Values, Tyson Foods strives to operate with integrity, create value for its shareholders, customers, communities and team members and serve as a steward of the animals, land and environment entrusted to it.
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