SAILSBURY, MD. - As Perdue Farms continues its role as an essential business supporting the food chain in the United States, it is ramping up precautions in response to coronavirus (COVID-19) as the threat of the virus escalates across the country. On March 31, the company confirmed a production associate tested positive for COVID-19.
“As the COVID-19 crisis continues to evolve, we’ve enacted numerous proactive measures to protect our associates during this uncharted time,” said Randy Day, chief executive officer of Perdue Farms. “For example, at our plants, we are practicing social distancing not only in common areas, such as break rooms and cafeterias, but also on the production lines where possible. Where social distancing isn’t possible, we are rolling out temporary installations of dividers between our associates on production lines.”
The partitions are designed to be easily customizable and can be installed throughout production facilities where they are needed. Made with either plexiglass or stretched trash bags, the dividers will be sanitized and replaced after each shift.
Perdue Farms has also begun temperature checking at all production facilities and is in the process of rolling out a disposable mask program which will soon be available to all employees. Associates will have temperatures taken with non-contact infrared devices. Anyone with a temperature at or above health department guidelines will be directed to the facility’s onsite wellness center for further screening.
The company has also taken steps to increase compensation for associates and created flexible leave policies.
“As we navigate the challenges posed by this unprecedented pandemic, we will continue to seek additional opportunities to protect and support our associates who are continuing to produce safe, high-quality food for our country,” Day said. “Furthermore, we have established a new page on our company website where we will be posting pertinent updates for the duration of this very fluid situation.”