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Worker Tests Positive for COVID-19 at Quaker Oats Plant

March 27, 2020
A worker from a Quaker Oats plant in Iowa tested positive for the novel coronavirus. Image courtesy of Flickr user amberkennedy
A worker from a Quaker Oats plant in Iowa tested positive for the novel coronavirus. Image courtesy of Flickr user amberkennedy

American food and beverage firm PepsiCo North America said this week that a staff member at its Quaker Oats production plant in Cedar Rapids, IA tested positive for the novel coronavirus, several local news organizations reported. 

“We have taken all necessary steps to identify and notify individuals who worked closely with the employee and have asked them to self-quarantine for a period of 14 days,” the company said in a statement to television news station KWWL. As a precautionary measure, we made the decision to temporarily close certain lines and common areas at the Quaker Cedar Rapids facility in order to conduct a deep cleaning of the contacted areas and equipment based on CDC guidelines and using EPA-approved registered products for COVID-19.”

The infected worker is self-quarantining for 14 days and they are getting medical treatment. 

PepsiCo said that it is cleaning several sections of the plant and halting operations on several lines despite the fact that there is no evidence of COVID-19 transmission from food packaging or food products. 

“There is likely a low risk of spread from surfaces, products, or packages. But, as we mentioned, out of an abundance of caution, we will be deep cleaning identified areas,” a company statement quoted by ABC News affiliate KCRG said. 

The company also temporarily stopped work this week at a Frito-Lay plant in Modesto, CA after several workers developed coronavirus symptoms and entered into self-quarantine, Powder & Bulk Solids reported.

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