Duplin County Processing Plant Impacted by COVID-19
May 13, 2020
Local, state, and federal agencies, along with Villari Foods, are taking action together
to protect Villari team members, mitigate further spread of COVID-19, and protect the food supply chain
following a recent outbreak at Villari Foods production facilities in Duplin County. An outbreak is defined
as two or more positive cases identified within the same facility.
In recent months, Villari Foods took the appropriate action steps to slow the spread of COVID-19, including
strict sanitization protocols, social distancing everywhere possible, daily temperature screenings, and
required use of face masks when inside the facility. Villari Foods and Duplin County Health Department
have been working together very closely, which has been instrumental in helping Villari Foods contain this
pandemic to the best of its ability.
Duplin County Health Department is leading the outbreak response, including contact tracing to
determine who may have been exposed to each positive COVID-19 case. The health department gathers
all the necessary information when there is a positive case identified to include their close contacts to
ensure each individual is following the CDC guidelines and are in isolation at home. Villari Foods will
continue to provide pay for team members unable to work when testing positive for COVID-19, recovering
from the disease, or because they have been asked to self-quarantine by the health department or other
To protect team members and the food supply, Villari Foods is following the interim COVID-19 guidance
for meat and poultry processing, processing workers and employers from the Centers for Disease Control
and Prevention (CDC) and the Occupation Safety and Health Administration (OSHA)
employers.html). Villari Foods aggressively continues to pursue initiatives that best protect
employees while they are at work. The company’s response efforts continue to evolve as new guidance
and supplies become available. Most recently, the company has implemented protective face shields for
production areas where physical distancing is not possible.
“We are grateful to have the support of local, state, and federal agencies through this unprecedented
time. Our goal is to protect the safety of our team members; this is crucial for us so we can continue to
help supply food for your tables,” said Joe Villari, CEO of Villari Foods.
For more information on North Carolina’s COVID-19 response and links to other guidance, please
visit https://www.ncdhhs.gov/divisions/public-health/covid19. Also, the Duplin County Health
Department has a COVID-19 phone line (910-296-2130 ext. 8160) for questions only as no medical advice
or assessments are provided from this line. Villari Brothers’ COVID Coordinator can be reached at 910-
293-2157 ext. 6527.