30 workers at OSI’s Rose Packing plant COVID-19-positive

Thirty people who work at OSI Group’s Rose Packing plant in Chicago have tested positive for COVID-19.

Roy Graber Headshot
(Melis | Bigstock)
(Melis | Bigstock)

Thirty people who work at OSI Group’s Rose Packing plant in Chicago have tested positive for COVID-19.

About 500 people are employed at the plant, which produces value-added chicken, turkey, pork and beef products.

Workers who tested positive are all under self-quarantine at home or under medical care.

According to a statement from the company, production operations at the plant were suspended after the second shift on April 17, and the facility will not reopen until it has temperature monitoring in place for all employees.

OSI Group, which acquired the Rose Packing facility in 2019, will use the downtime to conduct deep cleaning of all areas of the facility, with application of Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)-approved sanitizers that are effective against the virus that causes COVID-19.

The company said once the plant reopens, it will institute a brief exposure history questionnaire to everyone who enters the plant, which OSI believes will provide additional levels of protection to all employees.

OSI COVID-19 response plan

Prior to learning of the confirmed cases of COVID-19, OSI Group initiated a COVID-19 response plan and heightened sanitary and safety measures.

According to OSI, prior to the temporary closure of the Rose Packing plant, a complete sanitation cycle was conducted every evening in each of its production areas, which included:

  • Chemical foaming of equipment, walls, and ceilings
  • Manual scrubbing of equipment surfaces
  • A full wash down to remove all food-grade cleaning chemicals
  • Collection of microbiological monitoring samples to verify cleanliness
  • A thorough, final, visual inspection of rooms and equipment
  • A final sanitization of all equipment prior to the beginning of operations

Additionally, the following measures have been implemented to protect team members:

  • Starting March 16, 2020, implemented continuous cleaning and disinfection of common areas and surfaces, including breakrooms, restrooms, offices, doorknobs, vending machines, handrails and desks, using only EPA registered sanitizers effective against the COVID-19 virus
  • Staggered break times to further enhance social distancing and added more break areas to facilitate spacing
  • Reinforced with all team members the importance of proper hand hygiene, refraining from touching the face and recognition of COVID-19 symptoms
  • Beginning April 7, 2020, deployed face coverings for all team members, and on April 10, 2020, provided face shields for production line workers
  • Installed additional hands-free sanitizing stations to foster additional application by team members
  • Developed an in-depth, CDC-guided close contact investigation process
  • Developed a COVID-19-related paid leave program

Headquartered in Aurora, Illinois, OSI Group is the 30th largest broiler company in the world, operating more than 60 facilities in 17 countries. It is the parent company of Amick Farms, the 12th largest poultry company in the United States.

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

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