One of America’s largest pork processing plants joins a long list of major meat factories forced to close after 240 employees catch COVID-19 – prompting fears of a nationwide shortage

Monday, April 13, 2020
By Paul Martin

Smithfield meat processing plant has 3,700 employees. 240 have coronavirus
Plant employees make up around half of South Dakota’s active cases
The state’s Governor and mayor spoke to the company to recommend closure

Other states in the U.S have also closed their plants putting meat supply at risk

13 April 2020

The CEO of Smithfield Foods has claimed the country’s meat supply is at risk as the company is forced to close one of the country’s largest pork processing facilities until further notice due to the coronavirus.

The facility in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, is closing as a number of its employees have fallen ill with Covid-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus, and is one in a list of plants that have shut down during the crisis.

More than 11 meat packing and processing plants have now been closed in North America because of the impact of coronavirus, raising serious concerns about the supply chain in the U.S. and its ability to keep shelves stocked.

According to Smithfield, the plant accounts for 4 to 5 percent of the country’s pork production. It supplies nearly 130 million servings of food per week, or about 18 million servings per day.

‘The closure of this facility, combined with a growing list of other protein plants that have shuttered across our industry, is pushing our country perilously close to the edge in terms of our meat supply,’ the meat processor’s CEO Kenneth Sullivan said in a statement on Sunday.

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