More than 100 workers at the Farmer John plant in Vernon have contracted the coronavirus in an outbreak plaguing the facility that produces the Dodger Dog.
Thus far, 116 workers at the Smithfield-owned meat-processing plant have tested positive, according to the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health.
Smithfield, which bought Farmer John in 2017, could not be reached Saturday for comment.
According to the company’s website, “every employee involved in handling, preparing and processing food wears personal protective equipment covering their heads, faces (including masks and face shields), hands and bodies. Additionally, employees undergo temperature checks and are screened for COVID-19 symptoms.”
“During this pandemic, our entire industry is faced with an impossible choice: continue to operate to sustain our nation’s food supply or shutter in an attempt to entirely insulate our employees from risk,” the company said in a statement issued in early May. “It’s an awful choice; it’s not one we wish on anyone. It is impossible to keep protein on tables across America if our nation’s meat plants are not running.”
The outbreak at Smithfield’s Vernon plant is the largest listed by the county’s public health department at a nonresidential setting.