GREELEY, COLO. – On the heels of recent news about cases of the coronavirus (COVID-19) being discovered among workers at several meat and poultry processing plants, JBS USA confirmed its Souderton, Pa.-based beef plant has cut back production after a number of senior-level managers reported having flu-like symptoms. The reduced production is expected to continue for two weeks. The plant plans to continue its fabrication operations and ground beef processing.

“Out of an abundance of caution, these team members have been sent home to self-monitor their health in light of the continued spread of coronavirus (COVID-19),” the company said. “We anticipate the facility will return to normal operations on April 14, 2020.”

The company did not specify if the sick workers would be tested for COVID-19 or how the cut back would affect overall production at the slaughtering and fabrication plant, which employs more than 1,000 workers.  

“We wish our team members a speedy recovery and salute the health care professionals who are tirelessly working to protect us all,” the company said. “We also thank our team members and everyone who is helping to keep food on tables during this challenging time.”

Over the past week, several other processors have discovered the virus among their workers. Olymel LP announced the closure of its pork processing plant in Quebec after discovering nine positive cases of the virus among workers there.

Other companies have also reported employees testing positive, including Perdue Farms’ poultry plant in Perry, Ga., Sanderson Farms’ poultry processing facility in McComb, Miss., and Smithfield Foods Inc.’s John Morrell pork plant in Sioux Falls, SD.