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Turkey products brand Jennie-O Turkey Store has temporarily suspended operations at its two facilities in Willmar, Minnesota, US.

The two facilities in Willmar Avenue and its Benson Avenue will undergo cleaning to further improve the already existing safety and sanitisation protocols.

Despite the closure and pause in production, Jennie-O Turkey Store employees will continue to remain entitled for 100% of their base pay and benefits.

The company is a wholly owned subsidiary of Hormel Foods Corporation.

Jennie-O Turkey Store president Steve Lykken said: “The health, well-being and safety of our team members is our top priority. Out of an abundance of caution, we have decided to take a pause in operations.

“During this pause, we will maintain our thorough food processing sanitation practices, as well as the enhanced procedures that we have been employing since the emergence of Covid-19. The facilities will be deep cleaned, including all common areas and high-touch surfaces.”

Until 23 April, the company had 14 of more than 1,200 employees confirmed positive for Covid-19.

Lykken added: “Lastly, we have implemented wellness screenings, provided masks and additional personal protective equipment and enhanced safety and sanitation protocols throughout our facilities. We are working closely with external partners as we also develop our plan for reopening when the time is appropriate. As a longstanding and respected Minnesota company, our goal is to always do the right thing.”