Smithfield Foods, the world’s largest pork processor, stated Sunday it would shut a U.S. plant indefinitely attributable to a rash of coronavirus cases among staff and warned the nation was moving “perilously close to the sting” in supplies for grocers.
Slaughterhouse closures are disrupting the U.S. food supply network, crimping availability of meat at retail shops, and leaving farmers without shops for their livestock.
Smithfield prolonged the closure of its Sioux Falls, South Dakota, plant after initially saying it will idle temporarily for cleansing. The facility is among the country’s most significant pork processing plants, representing 4% to 5% of U.S. pork manufacturing, according to the company.
South Dakota Governor Kristi Noem stated Saturday that 238 Smithfield staff had active instances of the new coronavirus, accounting for 55% of the state’s total. Noem and the mayor of Sioux Falls had recommended the company close the plant, which has nearly 3,700 employees, for at least two weeks.
Smithfield stated it is going to resume operations in Sioux Falls after additional direction from local, state and federal officers. The firm will pay staff for the next two weeks, based on the assertion.
The firm has been working its plants to provide U.S. shoppers through the pandemic, Sullivan mentioned.