Fresh Mark plant in Salem remains closed this week due to COVID-19


The meat processing plant closed over the weekend after some workers came down with the virus

Fresh Mark, Salem


SALEM, Ohio (WKBN) – The Fresh Mark plant in Salem will remain closed this week due to COVID-19.

The meat processing plant closed over the weekend after it was suspected that some workers came down with the virus. It planned to reopen Monday after a deep cleaning, but now plant officials want better preventative controls in place to keep workers safe.

The company released a statement that says, in part:

“The health and safety of our Fresh Mark team members is always our top priority. We will voluntarily maintain the suspension of our operations in our Salem facility this week to continue defining the safest way to reopen for our employees.

Our team has been executing a comprehensive health and safety protocol for more than a month across all Fresh Mark facilities. This protocol has allowed us to proactively and safely manage situations related to COVID-19.

As a next step, and with the guidance of our longtime food safety and medical advisors, we’re using our time this week to define an enhanced level of preventative controls to maximize employee protection in our facilities.”

The new guidelines will include:

  • Health screenings for all employees three times a day, which will include questions about health and recent travel
  • Temperature checks multiple times a day for all employees
  • Requiring all employees to wear masks in addition to their current personal protective equipment, which includes hard hats, smocks, gloves, face shields and boots
  • Continuing sanitation in common areas every 30 minutes
  • Reinforcing social distancing requirements

Fresh Mark said it is in contact with the employees who tested positive for COVID-19.

The company said it will reopen “at a measured pace with a small number of employees” when it feels confident it has a safe procedure in place.

Each employee will be getting a back-to-work bonus when they’re approved to return.

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