Butterball’s turkey slaughter and processing facility in Ozark has been closed for the past week, and remains closed as flooded roads surround the plant, Butterball Public Relations Manager Christa Leupen told the media on Friday (May 31).
Plant officials said they closed the facility on Friday, May 24 related to “severe weather” ahead of the Memorial Day holiday and now from flooding from the Arkansas River.
“Our team at the facility is evaluating conditions and making the call whether to open or close on a day-to-day basis, with our team members’ safety top of mind,” Leupen said.
Company managers also are in contact with individual employees to get their feedback on conditions around their homes and safe passage to and from the facility. Although access to the plant is limited, Butterball has arranged for employees to pick-up paychecks at an off-site location on their scheduled payday. The company hasn’t yet determined whether, or how much, it might pay employees for the time spent idle.
“Temporarily halting operations at the plant is never an easy decision for a variety of reasons, but ultimately, we do what’s best for the safety of our team members,” Leupen said.
Tyson Foods, which operates plants near Ozark, has not reported any plant closures at this time.