Cargill Inc. said Tuesday (April 7) it has temporarily shuttered production at its Hazleton, Pa., ground beef and pork processing plant in an effort to keep employees safe. The plant employs 900 people and Cargill said the company is working with farmers and ranchers, customers and employees to supply food in this time of crisis.
The company said closing the plant became necessary as the Hazleton community has been greatly impacted by the coronavirus.
“This was a difficult decision for our team, but our values are guiding our actions,” said Jon Nash, president of Cargill Protein in North America. “We’ve taken extra steps to focus on safety and remain operational, including temporary wage increases, bonuses and waiving co-pays for COVID-19 testing. We also implemented additional safety measures. Our facility will re-open as soon as is it is safe to do so.”
Nash said even though the location is closed, Cargill continues to adapt to operating during a pandemic and the work of supplying food doesn’t stop.
This plant closure comes on the heels of Tyson Foods temporarily shutting down a pork processing plant in Iowa as well as National Beef stopping production this week for an overdue cleaning of its Iowa slaughter and packing plant.
Each of the plants that temporarily closed supplied meat to grocery retailers.