The Tennessee Department of Health (TDH), in partnership with the Tennessee Department of Agriculture (TDA) and local, state, and federal health officials visited the Tyson poultry processing facility in Shelbyville on April 24, 2020.
This visit was part of ongoing communication with Tyson officials to review their COVID-19 mitigation plans at Tennessee facilities following COVID-19 cases among employees.
Tyson has established numerous communication strategies and new protocols to protect their workforce while maintaining critical infrastructure for the food supply.
There is no evidence that COVID-19 is a foodborne illness.
Tyson representatives provided a tour of the facility, explaining and demonstrating changes that have been implemented to minimize risk to employees. Tour participants were screened before entering the facility by having their temperature taken and answering questions about their health, recent travel, and exposure to COVID-19 cases. Touring the working areas of the facility required washing in and wearing appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE) to follow normal protocols ensuring food safety.
USDA has regulatory oversight of meat processing and packaging companies in the U.S. Questions about plant inspections, worker safety, or working conditions should be directed to USDA.
Questions about specific measures taken at the Shelbyville facility in response to COVID-19 should be directed to Tyson.
TDH and TDA are satisfied that Tyson is taking appropriate steps to slow the spread of COVID-19, to protect the workforce, and to maintain the food supply chain. Both departments will continue to monitor the situation and make recommendations as needed