FRESNO, CALIF. – Foster Farms released results of its COVID-19 testing conducted at its two turkey processing facilities in Stanislaus County and two chicken processing facilities in Fresno County. More than 6,300 tests were administered to more than 3,400 Foster Farms employees – many of which were tested twice in a 7-day period. The company reports positive test results of less than 1%. Employees that have tested positive have been asked to self-isolate.
“COVID-19 represents a continuing challenge to all who live and work in California,” said Ira Brill, vice president of communications for Foster Farms. “This challenge is especially felt by companies like Foster Farms that share the special responsibility of keeping food on our supermarket shelves, while ensuring the health and welfare of employees. Foster Farms’ recent testing program, indicating a less than 1% prevalence level among workers, is substantive proof that we can, and will, do both.”
Between Sept. 3 and Sept. 11, the company conducted two rounds of COVID-19 testing among workers at the two turkey processing plants and associated facilities in Turlock, Calif., in Stanislaus County. The Turlock facilities employ 1,199 workers. A total of 2,134 tests were conducted on those employees for the week starting Sept. 3. Since the start of the pandemic, Foster Farms’ Turlock facilities have reported 75 COVID-19 positive cases, with 43 employees having already returned to work.
Between Sept. 1 and Sept. 10, Foster Farms conducted two rounds of testing of plant workers at its two chicken processing plants in Fresno County. A total of 4,180 tests were done with less than 1% of the tests coming back positive. There was a slight increase in the number of positive cases in the county coinciding with COVID-19 restrictions being lifted in the county over the summer months.
Since the beginning of the pandemic, Foster Farms’ Fresno facilities have reported 158 positive cases, with 75 individuals having already returned to work. The company also reported two deaths of employees due to complications from COVID-19.
“Foster Farms closely follows CDC guidance and began implementing mitigation efforts to protect workers in mid-March,” Brill said. “These efforts now include daily wellness and temperature checks, partitioning of work and break area spaces, providing face mask and face shields to employees, along with ongoing communication to the workforce. Foster Farms will be conducting follow-up surveillance testing at its major processing facilities to further identify and reduce the risk of COVID-19 to workers.”