Cargill has temporarily idled operations at its Hazleton, Pa., case-ready protein facility in order to keep the 900 employees healthy and minimize risk. The company said the Hazleton community has been greatly affected by COVID-19.
“As we continue to prioritize the health and safety of Cargill employees, we have decided to temporarily close our Hazleton case-ready protein plant. This will allow us to minimize the impact of COVID-19 and continue follow health department guidelines. This was a difficult decision for our team, but our values are guiding our actions,” said Jon Nash, lead of Cargill Protein – North America.
Nash said the company has taken extra steps to focus on safety while remaining operational, including temporary wage increases, bonuses and waiving co-pays for COVID-19 testing.
“We also implemented additional safety measures like temperature testing, enhanced cleaning and sanitizing, prohibiting visitors, adopting social distancing practices where possible and offering staggered breaks and shift flexibility," he said, adding that the facility will reopen as soon as is it is safe to do so.
While the location is closed and the operation has had to adapt, Nash said the company’s work doesn’t stop.
“Cargill provides an essential service to the world, providing the ingredients, feed and food that nourish people and animals. We are working with farmers and ranchers, our customers and our employees to supply food in this time of crisis and keep markets moving,” he said.