JBS pork plant in Worthington set to partially re-open this week

The plant has been shut down since a major coronavirus outbreak.
Author:
Publish date:
JBS Pork

The JBS USA pork processing plant in Worthington is set to partially re-open this week.

The plant, which employs more than 2,000 people and handles a large proportion of Minnesota's pork processing, will open its "kill side" this coming Wednesday, according to a release by UFCW Local 663, which represents workers at the facility.

JBS USA announced the indefinite closure of the plant on Apr. 20 after an increasing number of COVID-19 cases were reported among employees.

As of Saturday, there have been 940 confirmed cases of coronavirus in Nobles County, the second highest of any county in the state. 

But the plant's closure and closures of others in the Midwest have caused concerns about the nation's meat supply, prompting President Donald Trump to invoke the Defense Production Act to order processing facilities to reopen.

"As you are aware, the President of the United States signed an executive order that forces JBS and other meatpacking facilities to reopen around the country during this COVID-19 pandemic," said UFCW Local 663 president Matt Utecht.

"JBS plans to reopen the kill side of the plant this Wednesday, May 6. As it has been since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, your safety at work is our top priority.

"While the plant has been idle, our union has been hard at work ensuring that reopening the plant involves a commitment to enhanced safety guidelines for a safe reopening of the Worthington plant. I want to assure you that our voice as a union has been key to pushing for and developing these guidelines to keep you safe at work."

Minnesota Department of Health officials have been conducting intensive testing in Nobles County in an attempt to get a handle on the outbreak.

Sign up for our BREAKING NEWS newsletters

The union has shared a list showing a huge number of measures JBS USA is putting in place in order to limit the spread of the virus.

This includes separating workers on the production line using dividers, rigorous disinfecting protocols, and erecting a tent outside to give people more space during lunch.

You can see the full list of measures here.

During the shutdown, the whole plant has been cleaned "floor to ceiling" and numerous hand sanitizer stations and touchless water faucets have been put in place.

Since the shutdown of JBS and another major plant, Smithfield Foods in Sioux Falls, there has not been enough capacity to process Minnesota's hogs, causing thousands of animals to be euthanized by farmers.

Next Up

Facebook - Tuey Wilson Comic Stunt Juggler - broken wrists

MN juggler Tuey Wilson breaks both wrists in unfortunate accident

Wilson is a staple of the Renaissance Festival and holds a Guinness World Record.

Pixabay - laptop computer dark screen

Charges: Woodbury man had hundreds of child porn images on devices

He was arrested and charged with six felonies this week.

Dede Westbrook

Report: Dede Westbrook working out for Vikings

Westbrook could sign with the team if the workout goes well.

Flickr - State Patrol Minnesota trooper - uniform crop

State Patrol squad sustains major damage in crash at I-35 ramp in Sandstone

The trooper and other driver involved in the wreck were both injured.

school lunch

Free meals for kids available at 2,500 sites in Minnesota this summer

The state has teamed up with the USDA to provide healthy foods for all children in Minnesota.

695 grand avenue

St. Paul planners gives OK to 5-story development at Dixie's on Grand

The property would include four commercial spaces, but not Dixie's on Grand.

Screen Shot 2021-07-23 at 12.22.13 PM

Family identifies man who died at Menards in Golden Valley

Three people were "temporarily detained" at the Menards on Thursday, police say.

Related

JBS Pork

Coronavirus: Cases at Worthington pork plant continue to rise

Nobles County is becoming one of the Minnesota's major hotspots.

JBS Pork

JBS USA announces closure of coronavirus-hit Worthington plant

The pork processing plant has seen a growing number of cases.

Governor Tim Walz

Amid more reported outbreaks at MN meat plants, Walz heads to Worthington

It's the home of the shuttered JBS USA pork plant, where there has been a major COVID-19 outbreak.

JBS Pork

MN officials uneasy as president prepares order to keep meat plants open

The president is expected to issue an executive order requiring meat processing plants to stay open.

JBS Pork

Coronavirus outbreak at MN meat plant; spread possible from Smithfield Foods

The Worthington area has at least 30 cases, according to health officials.

Jennie-O Turkey

Union expresses safety concerns as Jennie-O plants reopen

Two Jennie-O facilities had closed due to COVID-19 outbreaks among workers.

hogs, pigs

Coronavirus: No pork at grocery stores soon? 'Maybe that'll wake people up'

A major reality check for how hard the pandemic is hitting pork producers.

Screen Shot 2020-04-21 at 5.51.17 PM

Coronavirus cases confirmed at Jennie-O plant in Willmar

Hormel Foods has confirmed the cases at the turkey plant in central Minnesota.