Tyson Foods released details about the new infrared walk-through temperature scanners it’s installed at some of its facilities in order to help slow the spread of the coronavirus.
First reported by CNBC, the technology is part of Tyson’s efforts to prevent employees who are potentially infected with COVID-19 from infecting other workers. As a non-contact technology, it’s not only safer than handheld thermometers but also faster and less disruptive to the company's operations.
The thermal imaging system tracks each employee who walks through, displaying their temperature on a screen in real time. Associates with a fever will trigger an alarm, and their temperature will then be verified with a temporal thermometer.
More than 150 of the scanners have been installed in four facilities: pork plants in Iowa and Indiana and poultry plants in Arkansas and Georgia.
The company expects to eventually have at least one in place in all of its plants. It operates 183 chicken facilities, 12 beef facilities, six pork facilities, and 40 prepared foods facilities in the United States, as well as 42 distribution centers and outsold cold storage facilities.
Tom Brower, Tyson senior vice president of health and safety, said the company may consider using the scanners in the long term to help with future flu and cold seasons.
The Springdale, AR-headquartered Tyson Foods is No. 9 on the CGT Top 100 Consumer Goods Companies of 2019 ranking. It employs around 141,000 workers and includes such brands as Jimmy Dean, Hillshire Farm and BallPark.