COVID-19 outbreak : Tyson Fresh Meats halts production at Pasco beef processing plant
Tyson Fresh Meats, the beef and pork unit of Tyson Foods, will halt production at its beef processing plant in Pasco, Washington temporarily as its employees are undergoing COVID-19 testing.
Tyson Foods said that health officials in Walla Walla, Benton, and Franklin Counties will work with its subsidiary to test more than 1,400 plus team members for the novel coronavirus as soon as possible.
The Pasco beef processing plant produces enough beef in a day to feed four million people. While the beef processing facility is closed temporarily for testing, Tyson Foods will continue to compensate its team members and ask them to self-isolate at home until their results are out.
Steve Stouffer – group president of Tyson Fresh Meats said: “We’ve taken both of our responsibilities to continue feeding the nation and keeping our team members safe and healthy seriously.
“That’s why we’ve been focused on COVID-19 since January when we first formed a company coronavirus task force. We’ve since implemented numerous measures to protect workers and, at times, have gone beyond CDC guidance.
“We’ve also worked with the local health department on more mitigation efforts and have accommodated all its recommendations for protective measures, which exceeded CDC guidelines. Despite these efforts, the combination of worker absenteeism, COVID-19 case and community concerns has resulted in a collective decision to close and test all team members.”
Tyson Foods said that resuming operations at the Pasco beef processing plant is based on a range of factors such as the results of the COVID-19 test of its employees and how long it will take for the results to come.
Recently, the US meat processing company said that it will indefinitely suspend operations at Tyson Fresh Meats pork processing plant in Waterloo, Iowa. Tyson Fresh Meats will also close its pork processing factory in Logansport, Indiana on a voluntary basis while its employees undergo coronavirus testing.
Tyson Foods said that currently its other meat and poultry plants continue to operate, but some are running at lowered levels of production because of the planned implementation of additional worker safety precautions or absenteeism of workers.