MELROSE, MINN. – Two Hormel subsidiaries announced over the weekend that they resumed operations following deep cleaning due to COVID-19 concerns.

Jennie-O Turkey Store, a unit of Hormel Foods Corp., restarted its plant in Melrose, Minn., following suspending its operations. The company said it restarted production on a limited basis on May 8 with a core group of workers and planned to ramp up production over the next few days.  

“We have put the safety of our staff first throughout this pandemic and will continue to do so,” said Steve Lykken president of Jennie-O Turkey Store. “Now that we have reopened our Melrose Plant, our team is turning its attention and efforts to our new awareness initiative called ‘Keep COVID out!’ This campaign reinforces the preventative measures throughout our facility and the efforts of our team members to keep COVID-19 outside of our building and out of our communities. COVID-19 affects all of us and we must work together to stop its spread, both at the workplace and outside of work.”

Alma Foods LLC, a subsidiary of Hormel Foods Corp., in Alma, Kan., announced that it reopened its plant as well on May 8 following a brief closure.

The company said that during the pause, it implemented additional safety procedures including deep cleaning of high-touch areas, reconfiguration of common areas and workstations, revised shift scheduling, new guidelines on carpooling and more extensive social distancing measures throughout the facility.

“We have an incredible team of inspired people at Alma Foods and while we know that this current COVID-19 pandemic has been a very difficult situation for our team members, their families, our friends and neighbors and our community, we are eager to get back to doing what we love and that’s making great food,” said Shane Weers, plant manager for Alma Foods. “We have put the safety of our team members first throughout this pandemic and will continue to do so.”

Alma plans to move forward with a phased reopening plan that meets or exceeds CDC and OSHA guidelines. It also outlined procedures for continued worker safety.