SIOUX CENTER, Iowa - Perdue Premium Meats learned Thursday morning one of its employees tested positive for Coronavirus at its Sioux Center facility. Plant Manager Gary Malenke says the individual was not feeling well and was sent home. The employee is self-isolating at home and has not been in to work at the meat-processing facility for a little more than a week,
As one of the meat packing facilities in the region, Malenke feels very fortunate and blessed to have only one case. He says their facility started mitigation processes early on and feels those efforts are paying off.
Malenke says as time progressed, they added more mitigation measures such as taking temperatures at the beginning of shifts and throughout the day, providing masks and face-shields for workers, and placing partitions at work stations where workers cannot social distance. The facility has included deep cleaning as well.
Perdue is one of a few packers in the region that are relatively unscathed from the pandemic, but Malenke says its creating a backlog for his company, and requests from new producers wanting to bring their hogs to Perdue are too numerous to count.
Since the diagnosis of their employee, Malenke says the company has put into place more monitoring systems to keep a closer eye on their workers, making sure they are not showing any symptoms.
The plant has an in-house nurse who has been monitoring the health of employees.
Perdues Sioux Center facility employs 250 employees, processing 4,500 head of hog each day, or 1 million pounds of pork that is shipped nationwide and internationally.