West Liberty Foods reported that three team members at its West Liberty, Iowa, facility have now tested positive for COVID-19.
To the company’s knowledge, no team members working at any other West Liberty Foods location have tested positive for COVID-19.
The company has closed the plant where those employees worked after the end of the first shift on April 9, and will reopen on April 14 in order to carry out an intensive cleaning over the extended holiday weekend.
“Our first priority is the health and well-being of our team, and we will continue to take precautionary measures to mitigate the spread of illness,” said Ed Garrett, CEO.
“Upon learning of the positive cases, we immediately activated our COVID-19 response protocols to identify other team members who may have been at risk of exposure,” said Brandon Achen, chief operating officer. “The infected team members and the individuals working in proximity who were determined to be at moderate or high risk have been sent home to self-quarantine with pay.”
West Liberty Foods has adopted a comprehensive plan comprised of best practices to prevent, prepare for, and respond to a COVID-19 outbreak, including practices in regard to health and safety training, sanitation, personal protective equipment, travel restrictions, social distancing, and relaxed attendance policies.
The federal government has designated the food industry as critical infrastructure that has a responsibility to continue production during the coronavirus pandemic. “We are especially proud of and grateful to our team members who allow us to help meet the nation’s food supply needs during these challenging times,” said Achen.
West Liberty Foods, according to, the WATTAgNet Top Poultry Companies Database, slaughtered 217.9 million pounds of turkeys in 2019. It operates one slaughter plant and four processing plants. It ranks as the 12th largest turkey producer in the United States.
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