Sanderson Farms employee tests positive for COVID-19

A slaughterhouse worker at Sanderson Farms’ McComb, Mississippi poultry processing plant has tested positive for COVID-19, the company said Monday. This is the first publicly confirmed case of a worker in a U.S. meat plant.

Doughman Headshot3 Headshot
(Kira_Yan | Bigstock)
(Kira_Yan | Bigstock)

A slaughterhouse worker at Sanderson Farms’ McComb, Mississippi poultry processing plant has tested positive for COVID-19, the company said Monday. This is the first publicly confirmed case of a worker in a U.S. meat plant.

The employee, along with six others, was sent home to self-quarantine with pay.

“We notified all other personnel at the McComb plant of the confirmed case and will continue to work in close partnership with the local health department in McComb and the Mississippi State Department of Health for guidance,” Joe F. Sanderson, Jr., chairman and chief executive officer of Sanderson Farms, Inc., said in a statement.

The individual’s work area was confined to one small processing table, the company noted. The plant processes 1.3 million birds a week, about 9.5% of the company's total capacity, according to Sanderson's website.

All of the company’s locations, including McComb, remain in operation after a thorough cleaning.

Continued food production

Last week, Sanderson announced they were implementing a COVID-19 response plan to ensure the continued production of high-quality poultry products.

U.S. consumers have emptied grocery store shelves by stocking up on fresh chicken, turkey and other items to prepare for social distancing measures to stop the spread of COVID-19. Multiple poultry producers, including Sanderson, have announced plans to ramp up retail processing to meet the needs of these stores.

“Like health care and pharmaceutical providers, the food supply chain is critical to ensure the well-being of residents of the United States and other countries, and Federal government officials have encouraged food companies to continue operating. There are no known indications that novel coronavirus can be transmitted through food,” Sanderson said.

“Our first and most important priority is the health and well-being of our employees, and we continue to take precautionary measures to mitigate the spread of illness. We are actively monitoring this evolving situation to ensure we are operating in the safest manner possible.”

View our continuing coverage of the coronavirus/COVID-19 pandemic.

Page 1 of 1580
Next Page