Coronavirus forces Hormel Foods to close 2 Jennie-O Turkey plants

14 employees test positive for COVID-19, company says

Get all the latest news on coronavirus and more delivered daily to your inbox. Sign up here.

Continue Reading Below

Hormel Foods’ Jennie-O Turkey Store announced that it was temporarily closing two facilities in Minnesota after 14 employees tested positive for COVID-19.

The Willmar, Minnesota facilities are the latest of many meat processers throughout the United States that have had to shut their doors for deep cleaning and employee self-isolation due to the coronavirus pandemic.

One of the Jennie-O Turkey facilities in Willmar, Minnesota. (Google Maps)

GROCERS HUNT MEAT AS CORONAVIRUS HOBBLES BEEF AND PORK PLANTS

Jennie-O employees will continue to receive their base pay and benefits while the facilities are cleaned under enhanced sanitation protocols, the company said. More than 1,200 people work at the facilities.

"The health, well-being and safety of our team members is our top priority. Out of an abundance of caution, we have decided to take a pause in operations," Jennie-O Turkey Store President Steve Lykken said in a written statement. “We are being thoughtful and considering in our approach to this process.”

TickerSecurityLastChangeChange %
HRLHORMEL FOODS46.87-0.34-0.72%

HORMEL FOODS GIVING MORE CORONAVIRUS BONUSES TO PRODUCTION WORKERS

The company is working with local health officials and a company headed by a former FDA medical officer. It has also implemented health screenings and provided personal protective equipment for workers, according to Lykken.

"The health, well-being and safety of our team members is our top priority,” he said. “Out of an abundance of caution, we have decided to take a pause in operations.”

Hormel Foods headquarters (File photo)

CORONAVIRUS CONCERNS CLOSE TYSON PLANT IN WASHINGTON

The Jennie-O closure announcement came just a day after parent company Hormel Foods said it would pay a second cash bonus to production employees working during the pandemic. The company promised $7 million in bonuses for full- and part-time workers on top of another $4 million pledged earlier in the month.

CLICK HERE TO READ MORE ON FOX BUSINESS