13 Simmons Pet Food employees positive for COVID-19

Thirteen employees of a Simmons Pet Food plant in Emporia, Kansas tested positive for coronavirus infection although not all had reported to work while ill.

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(Willee Cole | BigStock.com)
(Willee Cole | BigStock.com)

Thirteen employees of a Simmons Pet Food plant in Emporia, Kansas, USA tested positive for SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus infection. Not all had reported to work while ill, though. Lyon County health officials announced the results on April 20. More workers at nearby human food plants also tested positive.

“Simmons is one of the largest employers in Emporia, so we knew when community spread began to occur it could put our team members at risk,” said Julie Maus, Simmons Pet Food director of communications told Petfood Industry in an email. “Early on we took a proactive approach to communication and screening and as a result, of the cases reported locally, some were identified and isolated before reporting to work, for example after travel or other outside contact risks.”

Pet food facility COVID-19 safety measures

The Emporia pet food facility employs approximately 1,100 people. The plant has been operational since 2010. Simmons Pet Food produces private label and co-manufactured pet food in can, cup, tub and pouch formats at the pet food plant.

Simmons updated their COVID-19 safety policy on April 20. The pet food company enhanced measures including temperature screenings for those entering facilities. Individuals with elevated temperatures will not be admitted. They will receive additional screening and be referred for medical treatment as necessary. Simmons now provides face coverings and requires team members to wear them when they are within six feet of others. To assist with physical distancing, operations teams are expanding outdoor common areas and increasing markings to delineate safe distances.

Top Pet Food Companies Current Data

According to Petfood Industry’s Top Pet Food Companies Current Data, Simmons Pet Food’s annual revenue in 2018 reached US$700,000,000. Simmons is a North American private-label and contract manufacturer of wet and dry pet food and treats. The company produces both premium and value-focused offerings, supplying top brands and retailers with products in a variety of formats, including cans, pouches and cups. Simmons is headquartered in Siloam Springs, Arkansas, USA. Simmons Pet Food operates three wet pet food production facilities, a dry pet food facility and a treats production facility. These operations are located in the United States, including northwest Arkansas, Kansas and New Jersey, and in Ontario, Canada. Simmons Pet Food is owned by Simmons Foods, Inc. & Affiliates.

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