from Danny Walker, CEO
Heartland Catfish Company has confirmed that one of our employees has tested positive for COVID-19 as of Monday, April 13. This employee has not been at work since April 7, was tested on April 10 and has been following health care instructions including observing two weeks of self-quarantine. We are thankful to report that the employee’s symptoms are subsiding and she is feeling better.
The employee was not exposed to COVID-19 at our processing facility, and due to protective measures already put in place, we do not have a current need to quarantine any other employees. We have spoken to the health department and have taken their recommended course of actions. Our employees will wear masks and approved face coverings while on the job, and will continue to social distance while at work.
Because the U.S. government has identified the food supply as a critical infrastructure industry and has indicated our responsibility to maintain normal work, Heartland Catfish Company continues to be fully operational. With our employees’ safety as a priority, have been closely monitoring COVID-19 in our community and have been following the guidelines of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service.
Additionally, we continue to deep clean our plant daily, as is standard in our industry. Since 2018, our facility is a showcase plant for USDA FSIS’s inspector training program. The goal of the FSIS inspection program is to ensure that food processing plants are producing safe food in sanitary environments. We maintain the highest standards of sanitation and food safety in the industry, which includes daily inspections and fully sanitizing our facilities every 24 hours.
Heartland Catfish Company extends heartfelt thanks to the health care professionals, farmers, producers, retailers, government inspectors, transporters and all those involved in keeping our communities safe, operational and fed. We continue to be committed to doing our part in supporting our employees, customers and community during this unprecedented time.