Perdue Farms' COVID-19 Media Resources

Press Releases

Messages from Chairman Jim Perdue

Perdue continues to prioritize our associates’ safety

Addressing general COVID-19 concerns

Previously scheduled commercials replaced with a thank-you message (0:15-second commercial)

Previously scheduled commercials replaced with a thank-you message (0:30-second commercial)

Frequently Asked Questions

Perdue Farms responded swiftly to the threat of COVID-19 in order to protect and support our associates.

Please find answers to common questions below. Members of the press with additional questions may reach out to Perdue Farms’ corporate communications team at (410) 341-2533 or corpcomm@perdue.com.

Q.

How are you keeping your associates safe during COVID-19?

A.

The safety of our associates is our first priority, and we have fully implemented incremental safety measures at all of our production facilities to protect them.

All of our facilities at Perdue are fully cleaned and sanitized from top to bottom every 24 hours. Before we can start running the plant for the day, someone from the USDA has to inspect and sign off on the cleanliness of the plant. In addition to these normal cleaning standards, beginning in early March, we implemented extensive incremental cleaning and safety measures, which include increased cleaning and sanitization, restricting travel and non-essential visitors, social distancing where possible, temperature checking, face masks, and installing temporary partitions between associates on the production line where social distancing isn’t possible. Importantly, we’re offering our associates flexibilities with our pay and leave policies during this time to help relieve stress associated with this crisis, especially for those who are ill or may need to care for family members.

You can find an overview of these measures in this press release, and also regular updates on our COVID-19 Response web page.

Q.

What are your response protocols if someone in your facilities tests positive?

A.

Our response protocols follow strict guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), including:

  • Notifying and coordinating response procedures with all pertinent parties (local health officials, onsite USDA inspector, Perdue HR and Wellness Staff, Coronavirus Response Leader, and facility Director of Operations);
  • Notifying Associates who were potentially exposed to the affected Associate and providing them with guidance for conducting a risk assessment of their potential exposure using CDC guidelines.
  • Interviewing the affected Associate to determine movements and contact with others;
  • Checking recordings from internal cameras to see who the Associate may have been in close contact with (within six feet and longer than 10 minutes);
  • Thoroughly cleaning and sanitizing the entire facility beyond the full sanitation that all of the company’s facilities undergo every 24 hours, and with additional sanitization conducted in areas accessed by the affected Associate during the prior 14 days. These procedures strictly follow the CDC guidelines for this process;

Any affected Associate will quarantine for 14 days and may return to work when approved to do so by a healthcare provider. 

Q.

Have you had positive cases of COVID-19 in your facilities? How many and where?

A.

Companywide, we have had some confirmed cases of COVID-19 in our facilities. Many of these associates have recovered and returned to work. With each confirmed case, we immediately enact our pandemic response protocols, work with the local health department and follow strict guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). We’ve decided not to specify every individual case moving forward out of respect for our associates’ privacy under applicable confidentiality guidelines.

Q.

What else are you doing to support your associates during COVID-19?

A.

Despite the many measures that we have put in place, we know that this pandemic is creating stress for many of our associates and their families beyond the immediate health concerns. That is why, in addition to additional safety precautions we’ve implemented in our facilities, Perdue has taken steps to increase compensation for our employees and create flexibilities in our leave policies. We are talking with our associates daily to help alleviate their concerns, and have hosted webinars with various community leaders in the areas where we have facilities to further open the dialogue outside of our operations. Learn more on our COVID-19 Response web page.

Q.

Is the CDC visiting your plants? Are you conducting testing for your associates?

A.

We’re focused on the safety and wellness of our associates at our facilities, and are working with health officials to further bolster these efforts. We are proud to partner with the CDC and local health teams to properly assess the situation at each of our facilities to determine the need and take the appropriate actions to protect our associates and communities, which has included testing in some locations.

Q.

How are you ensuring food safety during COVID-19?

A.

All Perdue products continue to be USDA inspected and made with the highest standards of safety and quality. Per the CDC, COVID-19 is not known to be a food-borne pathogen and, “because of poor survivability of these coronaviruses on surfaces, there is likely very low risk of spread from food products or packaging that are shipped over a period of days or weeks at ambient, refrigerated, or frozen temperatures.” Learn more at the CDC website here.

Q.

How are you supporting your local communities during COVID-19?

A.

The communities where our associates live are vital to our success as a company, and we are dedicated to protecting and supporting them. We’ve committed a minimum of 1 million pounds of protein to local food banks to aid in relief efforts, and continue to seek opportunities to assist. Learn more here

Q.

How has business been affected? Have you had to make changes to production?

A.

Despite the global disruptions caused by COVID-19, we are still able to safely operate all of our facilities.

We are seeing a significant uptick in demand in both retail orders as well as through our new direct-to-consumer e-commerce website, PerdueFarms.com, and are working hard to fill the increased orders. We have shifted much of our total production to accommodate the variation in demand (with an increase toward retail), have added additional Saturday shifts in some locations to try to meet increases in demand, as well as simplified the mix of products we’re producing at this time (temporarily suspended a few of the less in-demand items to use the capacity for production of core items such as chicken breast, thighs, drums, and nuggets).

As the global situation with COVID-19 continues to evolve, we will continue to make adjustments based on demand to best serve the needs of our customers and consumers.

 

Q.

Are we in danger of a food shortage in America?

A.

It’s important that consumers have confidence in the American food supply chain, which is very efficient and innovative. While some of your favorite products might be temporarily harder to find at this time due to current disruptions, there is plenty of food in this country.

Q.

What does President Trump’s executive order to keep meat plants running mean to your business?

A.

We remain dedicated to protecting and supporting our associates while continuing to produce reliable, high-quality food as an industry deemed essential by the federal government to help keep our country fed.

Click here to read our statement on the activation of the Defense Production Act to protect America’s food supply.

Q.

There have been many reports that the Salisbury, Maryland area – where Perdue Farms is headquartered – is a new “hot spot” for COVID-19, particularly among poultry workers. Are your workers in increased danger there?

A.

No, Perdue Farms associates represent a small fraction of the positive cases in Wicomico County. Our number one priority is our people, and we will maintain the incremental safety protocols we’ve established while continuing to seek additional ways to protect and support them through COVID-19.

Q.

How has COVID-19 affected your staffing needs and attendance?

A.

Despite the global disruptions caused by COVID-19, we are still able to safely operate all of our facilities. This situation has not changed our staffing needs; we are always looking for qualified employees at our facilities across the country and are currently hiring.

Q.

Other poultry processors on the Eastern Shore of Maryland and Virginia have had to depopulate their farms. Have you had to depopulate any of your farms, or do you have plans to?

A.

No, we have not depopulated any farms due to COVID-19, and do not have any current plans to do so.

Q.

How are you working with your farmers to adapt to adjustments in demand?

A.

While we have not depopulated any farms due to COVID-19, and do not have any current plans to do so, we have made slight adjustments with some of our farm partners to adapt to the adjustments in demand, such as taking some eggs out of the hatcheries and some hens out of production, and placing less birds in the field with growers. 

Consumer Brands
Perdue
Perdue Simply Smart Organics
Perdue Harvestland
Coleman Natural
Draper Valley
Petaluma Poultry
Praire Grove Farms
Niman Ranch
Panorama Meats
Spot Farms Pet
Full Moon Pet
Business to Business
Perdue Foodservice
Perdue Foods
Perdue Foods International
Perdue agriBusiness