State programs Workplace exposures Food Manufacturing

COVID-19 pandemic: Minnesota issues guidance for meatpacking industry

Photo: Salomonus_/iStockphoto

Minneapolis — Recently released guidance from the state of Minnesota details steps employers in the meatpacking industry should take to reduce worker exposure to COVID-19.

Developed by the state’s departments of Labor and Industry, Health, and Agriculture, the guidance document “will ensure the meatpacking sector complies with the Minnesota Department of Health and (the) Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines and Minnesota Occupational Safety and Health Administration standards related to COVID-19.”

Topics covered:

  • Employee and visitor screening
  • Cleaning and disinfection
  • Physical distancing
  • Production, work-shift schedules and break schedules
  • Personal protective equipment and facial coverings
  • Personal hygiene
  • Communication
  • Orientation of a COVID-19 business plan
  • Business travel
  • Remote work
  • Visitor restrictions

The document includes guidance for employment and human resources teams, covering topics such as paid time off and sick leave policies, medical assistance, and support services.


“The meatpacking sector is an important part of Minnesota’s economy and a critical source for our food supply,” Minnesota DLI Commissioner Nancy Leppink said in a press release. “They have also been hot spots across the country for COVID-19 transmission. The guidelines will help ensure Minnesota’s meatpacking sector has appropriate measures in place to protect the safety of their employees and continue producing the food necessary to keep our state and nation fed.”

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