WASHINGTON — The National Chicken Council (NCC) commended additional precautionary measures the poultry industry is taking during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. 

“These are certainly trying and unprecedented times, and chicken processors are doing everything they can to 1) keep their employees safe and 2) work to keep chicken on the shelves – in that order,” said Mike Brown, president of NCC. “Our members are following all of the CDC and local health department guidelines, and many have consulted with infectious disease physicians to develop site plans.”

Brown lauded efforts taken by the industry including increasing cleaning, sanitation and fogging frequencies for equipment and common areas at processing facilities He also mentioned the continued emphasis companies are putting on handwashing and sanitization for employees.

Brown iterated the importance of employees staying home if they are not feeling well or believe they may have been exposed to the virus.

Other actions taken by many companies and supported by NCC include implementing travel restrictions, having only essential personnel in plants and teaching employees about the virus and how to avoid being infected.

Brown said the NCC supports more government support for the food industry to keep the supply chain strong during the pandemic.

“Since the US government has deemed food manufacturing as critical infrastructure, we treat very seriously our responsibility to keep workers safe while providing protein for families,” Brown said. “The essential critical industries working to care for, feed, and protect Americans are selflessly serving the nation by showing up to work during this time of crisis. While the work of our public health professionals, first responders, and public safety employees is unquestioned, we must also adequately recognize the service of food industry workers who protect our food security. NCC is urging Congress to support food industry workers in any aid package that might be considered when Congress returns in late April.”