Perdue Farms employees were told to head home early Thursday. The Ohio County chicken processing plant was shut down around noon by the United States Department of Agriculture. This is the first time the plant's been shut down by the USDA.
A Perdue Farms employee, who wants to remain anonymous, says the closing happened without any warning.
“We were working. The next thing we know at 11 a.m. they called us and told us to shut down all lines, that production is stopped. Tell everyone to go downstairs and take a break. They didn't know how long they'd be down or anything," she says.
Perdue employees are still very much in the dark as to why the facility is shutting down until further notice.
"No, they ain't told us nothing yet. We got a paper saying we got a number to call to check and see if we work tomorrow," says employee of 10 years, Tex Basham.
According to someone close to the situation, the closing comes 60 days after a USDA inspection found procedural and documentation problems. The source says Thursday, Perdue officials sent the USDA a 160 page document explaining how they planned on fixing these violations. The USDA rejected the proposed solutions and called for the building to be shut down.
One employee says that despite the doors being closed temporarily... it shouldn't affect Perdue's product in grocery stores.
"Weigh-Price-Label and Shipping, its not really affected them too much. There's chicken in our inventory that we can ship out, that we still have that we're not waiting on," she says.
Right now, all employees can do is wait and hope that the plant re-opens soon. Perdue Farms spokesperson, Julie De Young, told WBKO that after the plant was shut down Thursday, some of the staff conducted training sessions.
She also said they are currently working with the USDA to bring their facility up to code as quickly as possible.