Skip to content

This Chicken Brand Just Had Another Major Coronavirus Outbreak

New spike in COVID-19 cases among meat workers renews concerns about food safety.

In recent months, counties that house meat-packing plants across the United States have emerged as dangerous hotspots of coronavirus infection. Unfortunately, it seems that this trend isn't over, as workers of yet another plant are experiencing high infection rates.

Tyson Foods, world's second largest processor of chicken, beef, and pork, announced on Friday that hundreds of its workers at a Springdale, Arkansas plant have recently tested positive for COVID-19. Out of more than 3,700 employees tested, 481 were found to have coronavirus, although the vast majority reported being asymptomatic.

The northwestern part of Arkansas, where the meat plant is situated, is currently considered a coronavirus hotspot in the state.

China stops poultry imports from Tyson due to new outbreak

China's customs authority reported the country had stopped importing poultry products from the Tyson Foods facility after learning about the outbreak. A spokesperson for Tyson said the company is working to resolve the issue with China, and noted they are working closely with the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Food Safety and Inspection Service to ensure all products meet the government's safety requirements.

The new outbreak comes just weeks after the company temporarily shut down their pork-packing plant in Waterloo, Iowa and the poultry plant in Wilkesboro, North Carolina, due to coronavirus outbreaks among employees. The plants reported 1,031 cases and 570 cases respectively in May.

Meat-packing facilities continue being major sources of outbreaks worldwide

Forbes reported that 25,000 American processing plant employees from 238 plants in 33 states had been infected as of June 16.

Recent outbreaks tied to meat factories and packing facilities have also been reported in other countries. Last week, Germany saw a sharp increase in cases tied to a meat factory in the northeastern district of Gütersloh, where over 1,000 employees have tested positive. Similarly, three meat packing plants in the UK and Wales have closed last week due to new outbreaks. Sign up for our newsletter to get the latest food news delivered straight to your inbox.

Eat This, Not That! is constantly monitoring the latest food news as it relates to COVID-19 in order to keep you healthy, safe, and informed (and answer your most urgent questions). Here are the precautions you should be taking at the grocery store, the foods you should have on hand, the meal delivery services and restaurant chains offering takeout you need to know about, and ways you can help support those in need. We will continue to update these as new information develops. Click here for all of our COVID-19 coverage, and sign up for our newsletter to stay up-to-date.
Mura Dominko
Mura is ETNT's Deputy News Editor, leading the coverage of America's favorite restaurant chains, grocery stores, and viral food moments. Read more about Mura
Filed Under