SPRINGDALE, ARK. — Tyson Foods Inc. announced that it will suspend all international travel from the United States due to the threat of the coronavirus (COVID-19).
The company asked for some employees who recently traveled internationally to self-quarantine. There also will be restrictions on scheduling or attending large, work-related trade shows or conferences.
“Adjusting plans and adapting to challenges,” said Donnie King, chief administration officer at Tyson Foods. “We’re accustomed to it in our business. The most recent example is the global spread of coronavirus.”
King said the company has been closely monitoring the evolving situation since January and formed a working group of leaders from around the company that have been meeting on a regular basis.
“Protecting our team members is extremely important,” King said. “We’ve already taken steps to protect and educate them and are working to ensure the continuity of our business.”
On the operations side of the business, Tyson has asked all visitors to its facilities to fill out a questionnaire when they enter the premises. The company said it continues to emphasize Good Manufacturing Practices for sanitation in all food production and storage areas along with emphasizing sanitation measures in all other common areas.
“We are closely engaged with each part of our supply chain to manage and prevent disruption of supplies, production and distribution,” King said. “We have business continuity measures in place designed to help ensure supply and are actively working to identify risks and find alternatives to any part of our supply chain that could be affected by this outbreak.”
Tyson also referenced information from The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the US Department of Agriculture and the US Food and Drug Administration that state there is no evidence that the coronavirus is a foodborne illness at this time.