ST. JOSEPH, Mo. (AP) _ Seitz Foods, a privately owned meat processor that sells its luncheon meats and hot dogs in 12 Midwestern states, will become part of the Sara Lee Corp. under a tentative agreement announced Friday.

Seitz President Douglas Esson said the Chicago-based Sara Lee has signed a letter of intent, with the acquisition subject to the two companies reaching a definitive agreement and approval by the boards of directors.

Terms were not disclosed.

Esson said Seitz will not have any immediate changes in product line or employment. He and the current management team will continue to operate the company under the Seitz name. The company employs 165 people at its only manufacturing plant, in St. Joseph.

Esson said Sara Lee was interested in Seitz because ''our marketing area is next to the market area of several other Sara Lee companies.''

Sara Lee, an international food and consumer products company with annual sales of approximately $9 billion, already owns Kahns, Hillshire Farms, the Jimmy Dean Co. and several regional meat processing operations.

Seitz was established at St. Joseph in 1936 and it sells its meats in an area extending from Minnesota to Texas.