The Eastern New Mexico News - Serving Clovis, Portales and the Surrounding Communities

Peanut shelling facility closed


April 29, 2020

PORTALES — Hampton Farms, the Borden peanut shelling facility in Portales, is temporarily closed after “several positive tests for COVID-19,” according to a news release from Severn Peanut Company, the parent company for Borden.

Company officials did not state the exact number of positive tests, citing respect for the privacy of team members.

The news release said there is no evidence of food or food packaging being associated with the transmission of COVID-19.

“Most importantly the employees are doing well and self-quarantined at home according to CDC guidance,” Severn President Dallas Barnes said in the release. “No one has been hospitalized at this point. Working with the New Mexico Department of Health we were able to arrange tests for our employees who work in that facility. We are currently awaiting the results of those tests.

“Out of an abundance of caution, we decided to temporarily close the shelling plant. We have 72 team members in that location and their health and well-being is our top priority.”

Severn said in the release it has instituted a series of processes and protocols with Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines, including social distancing, enhanced cleaning and sanitizing, face masks for employees, shift flexibility and public closure of facilities.

The company has not determined when the Portales plant would re-open.

“Agriculture is a crucial component to the food supply chain,” Barnes said. “The President and Secretary of Agriculture have repeatedly pointed out that our industry is on the front lines of this COVID-19 battle. We are doing everything possible to return to normal operation but must do everything we can to ensure the safety of our team first.”

New Mexico’s Department of Health reported late Monday afternoon there are seven positive cases of COVID-19 in Roosevelt County and 12 in Curry County.

The home counties of the Borden plant employees who tested positive were not released.


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