Support for LAist comes from
We Explain L.A.
Stay Connected

Share This


There’s Been A COVID-19 Outbreak At Farmer John In Vernon

Farmer John slaughterhouse workers wear face masks as they leave the Vernon plant on May 21, 2020 (Damian Dovarganes/AP)
Stories like these are only possible with your help!
You have the power to keep local news strong for the coming months. Your financial support today keeps our reporters ready to meet the needs of our city. Thank you for investing in your community.

Like other meatpacking facilities across the country, the Farmer John plant in Vernon — which manufactures the iconic Dodger Dog — has had an outbreak of COVID-19 cases.

At least 140 people who work for the Smithfield Foods-owned plant have tested positive over the past few months, according to Freddie Agyin, Director of the Health and Environmental Control Department in the City of Vernon.

He said they were first alerted to a cluster of six cases in the ham deboning department at the plant in mid-April.

When asked for comment, Smithfield said they’ve taken a number of steps to enhance worker safety, including installing plastic barriers, performing regular temperature checks, offering free virus testing, and distributing additional protective equipment, including masks and face shields.

Support for LAist comes from

However, some employees still feel unsafe and think the company should do more as the number of cases continues to grow.

Twenty-four additional cases were reported to Vernon’s Health and Environmental Control Department over the past week. It’s unclear if the rise in cases is due to additional testing or the virus continuing to spread amongst workers at the plant.

Our news is free on LAist. To make sure you get our coverage: Sign up for our daily newsletters. To support our non-profit public service journalism: Donate Now.