OAKLAND, CALIF. – California’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration recently announced another round of citations against five meat processors for failing to prevent COVID-19 infections at their facilities.
All located in Vernon, Calif., Smithfield Foods Inc. received a proposed penalty of $58,100; California Farms Meat Co. was cited $11,700; and CLW Foods received a proposed penalty of $32,700.
Central Valley Meat Co. in Hanford, Calif., was citied $50,000. Brawley, Calif.-based One World Beef, received a proposed penalty of $23,000.
“Enforcement of COVID-19 protections at meatpacking and food processing facilities has been a priority of Cal/OSHA given the high rates of positive cases and alarming number of deaths among food processing workers,” said Doug Parker, chief of Cal/OSHA. “These citations represent a portion of our enforcement efforts in these industries.
Some the violations cited by Cal/OSHA included not informing employees of possible exposure and failing to ensure workers used face coverings and personal protective equipment while in the plant. Other meat processors were cited for not having physical barriers between workers.
Three staffing agencies were also fined for failing to provide proper training and not reporting serious COVID-19 cases to California officials.
In November, Smithfield announced that it planned to contest a citation and proposed fine imposed by Cal/OSHA.
The full report from Cal/OSHA can be found here.
More than $200,000 worth of proposed penalties and fines were levied against Overhill Farms in Vernon, Calif., in September for not installing barriers or implementing procedures to have employees work at least 6 feet away from each other.