Produce Plants Become COVID Hot Spots

June 16, 2020
Produce packing plants are emerging as hot spots for COVID infection.

Produce packing plants are emerging as hot spots for COVID infection, for the same reason as meat packing plants: crowded working conditions.

According to an investigation by Reuters, of the more than 600 cases of COVID-19 in Yakima County, Wash., 62% were workers in the apple industry or other produce operations. Monterey County, Calif., had 247 agricultural workers test positive for the coronavirus, comprising 39% of the county’s total cases.

Field workers can spread out, but it’s nearly impossible for plant workers to maintain sufficient distancing to avoid infecting each other.

“They made some announcements to stay six feet apart but that’s basically impossible when you are loading boxes onto the same pallet,” an employee of Grimmway Farms told Reuters.

The Trump administration is considering an executive order designating produce plants as “critical” under the Defense Production Act, as an extension of what President Trump did for meat processing plants. Such a designation would provide legal protection to companies whose employees become infected.

Sponsored Recommendations

Troubleshoot: Grittiness in gluten free cookies

Learn how to adjust gluten free cookie recipes for a softer texture.

Clabber Girl: Rising Success

Uncover how Clabber Girl Corporation achieved a remarkable 7% growth and improved manufacturing efficiency by seamlessly integrating Vicinity's batch manufacturing solution with...

Intelligent Blends: Taking Technology to the Next Level

Find out how our friends at Intelligent Blends use VicinityFood and Microsoft Dynamics GP to produce the best coffee around.

Key ingredient: Mother Murphy's Laboratories

Flavorings manufacturer Mother Murphy’s Laboratories integrates front office with production facility — improving operations from initial order to final invoice.