Secretary Perdue Issues Letters on Meat Packing ExpectationsWed, 06 May 2020 09:19:45 CDT
U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue last night sent the following two letters to Governors across the nation and leadership of major meat processing companies. These letters establish the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) clear expectations for the implementation of President Donald J. Trump’s Executive Order signed last week. The President’s Executive order directs plants to follow the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) guidance specific to the meat processing industry to keep these critical facilities open while maintaining worker safety.
“USDA expects state and local officials to work with these critical meat processing facilities to maintain operational status while protecting the health of their employees,” Secretary Perdue said. “Meat processing facilities are critical infrastructure and are essential to the national security of our nation. Keeping these facilities operational is critical to the food supply chain and we expect our partners across the country to work with us on this issue.”
The Governors letter states, "I understand that State and local leaders are working diligently to protect and maintain the wellbeing of their citizens, including those who work on the front lines in critical industries, such as
meat and poultry processing. It is essential that we work together to ensure the health and safety of those who help keep food on the table during this unprecedented time. "
The Letter to the stakeholders includes, "Maintaining the health and safety of plant employees in addition to ensuring continued operations and a plentiful food supply during this unprecedented time is paramount. Our Nation’s meat and poultry processing
facilities and workers play an integral role in the continuity of our food supply chain. Effective immediately, meat and poultry processing plants should utilize the guidance issued on Sunday, April 26, 2020, by the CDC
and OSHA specific to the meat and poultry processing industry to implement practices and protocols for safeguarding the health of the workers and the community while staying operational or resuming operations."
Text of each of the letters can be found here: Letter to Governors and here: Letter to Stakeholders.
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