Published On: Sat, May 9th, 2020

Jennie-O Turkey Melrose turkey processing plant reopens after COVID-19 break

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Jennie-O Turkey Store has reopened its turkey processing plant in Melrose, Minnesota, following a voluntary suspension of operations because of the COVID-19 outbreak.

The company, which is a fully-owned subsidiary of Hormel Foods, restarted phased operations on Friday with a core group of team members. The turkey processing company said that it will look to ramp up production in the next few days.

Jennie-O Turkey Store had temporarily paused operations at the Melrose turkey plant since late April owing to the community spread of COVID-19 in the area. At the time of the announcement, Jennie-O Turkey Store said that nearly 20 out of its workforce of about 750 had tested positive for the novel coronavirus.

In late April, the turkey processing company also announced the temporary closures of its Willmar Avenue and its Benson Avenue facilities, both located in Willmar, Minnesota.

Jennie-O Turkey Melrose turkey processing plant reopens after COVID-19 break

Jennie-O Turkey Melrose turkey processing plant reopens after COVID-19 break. Photo courtesy of Jennie-O Turkey Store/Wikipedia.org.

Steve Lykken – president of Jennie-O Turkey Store said: “We remain committed to our industry-leading efforts to maintain and enhance safety protections for our team members and this community. We are glad to be reopening this facility and are working on our plans for reopening our other facility in Willmar, Minnesota.

“We have put the safety of our staff first throughout this pandemic and will continue to do so. 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.

“As a leading employer in the area, and one with our core priority on the health and safety of our employees, we are certainly eager to get back to doing what we love and that’s making great food.”

Earlier this week, Rochelle Foods, another fully-owned subsidiary of Hormel Foods, reopened its facility in Rochelle, Illinois which makes grocery, foodservice, and specially-formulated cancer nutrition products, following a two-week closure due to the coronavirus pandemic.

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