Updated: Cause of Jennie-O plant illnesses unknown

by Meat&Poultry Staff
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WILLMAR, Minn. – Investigators found no cause behind illnesses that forced the evacuation of a Jennie-O Turkey processing plant in Willmar, Minn., according to Hormel Foods Corp., parent company of Jennie-O Turkey. 

An emergency call came after 7 pm on Oct. 18. Several workers were coughing and vomiting. Multiple ambulances and a bus were dispatched to the plant, according to news reports. The sickened workers were treated on the scene and later taken to Rice Memorial Hospital.

In a statement, Hormel Foods said: "The investigation by local fire officials and internal safety personnel was completed Friday night and no cause was determined. No operational issues were found and the plant resumed normal operations on Friday evening. Rice Memorial Hospital indicated in a statement that a total of 24 patients were evaluated Friday night by local healthcare professionals and 23 were released that evening. One employee was admitted and the hospital confirmed the employee was released on Saturday. Most employees have returned to their positions."

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