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Dodger Dog Meatpacking Plant Has a Coronavirus Outbreak

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Plus, El Ruso’s new taco truck, a quarantine crawl, and Memorial Day kits

Dodger Dog covered with toppings at Dodger Stadium.
Dodger Dog
LA Dodgers
Mona Holmes is a reporter for Eater Los Angeles and a regular contributor to KCRW radio. She has covered restaurants, dining, and food culture since 2016. In 2022, the James Beard Foundation nominated her for a Jonathan Gold Local Voice Award.

The Farmer John meatpacking plant in Vernon, which produces LA’s beloved Dodger Dog, is experiencing a COVID-19 outbreak. A large number of employees have tested positive for the virus since mid-April, according to LAist who spoke with Freddie Agyin, Vernon’s director of health and environmental control.

After discovering a cluster of six cases in the ham deboning department, Agyin noted that at least 140 people tested positive. In response, Smithfield Foods — which owns the plant — said there are now safety protections in place including the installation of plastic barriers, providing protective masks and face shields, temperature checks, along with free virus checks.

Nationwide, the meatpacking industry — where workers slaughter and process meat at a rapid pace — is experiencing a similarly high COVID-19 infection rate.

In other news:

—As of today, there’s a new and second location for Walter Soto’s taco stand, El Ruso. L.A. Taco breaks down Soto’s new taco offerings: “Sinaloan-style adobada, asada, (and) the crispiest tripitas (beef intestine).”

The Eastsider reports that San Francisco-based Mr. Holmes Bakehouse could move to a new spot on Figuroa and 59th in Highland Park.

—Greenblatt’s Deli and Eleven City Diner reopened for delivery and takeout this week.

—After 52 years, Bernard Burgers on Avalon near 120th Street has closed, according to Slauson Girl.

—The Pasadena Heritage organization put together a virtual bar crawl and trivia event and labeled it a Quarantine Crawl. For $10, the nonprofit will send instructions to participants, along with a downloadable beer tasting and buying guide, and a Pasadena trivia sheet.

—Matthew J. Kaner, co-founder of Bar Covell and Augustine Winebar put together a new Instagram Live show called Cellar Rats. Naturally, it’s about wine.

Spread Mediterranean Kitchen has falafel picnic boxes for Memorial Day, but only for Sunday and Monday.

—After suspending service in March, Bar Ama’s Josef Centeno reopened last week, and full of Tex-Mex dishes, cocktails, groceries, and full trays of enchiladas. Centeno’s other restaurants Baco Mercat and Amacita are also open while Orsa & Winston plans to reopen with takeout and delivery next week.