Three major U.S. meat processing plants have shut down — and it could have an impact on the food supply chain.
On April 6, Tyson Foods suspended operations at a pork processing plant in southeastern Iowa after more than 24 workers tested positive for COVID-19. According to the AP, the plant's 1,400 workers will be paid through the week. The company will reassess the situation and until the plant is reopened, livestock shipments will be diverted to other plants in the area.
According to a Reuters report, JBS USA has shutdown operations at a Pennsylvania beef plant. The company plans to restart production April 16, but in a statement, JBS added that the facility was shut down to make sure they had "the appropriate management leadership in place before resuming operations."
On April 3, 10 workers at another JBS beef processing plant in Nebraska had tested positive, however, the plant has not yet been shut down due to the essential nature of the business.
Finally, National Beef Packing in Iowa has stopped slaughtering cattle this week for cleaning work that was originally scheduled for later this month.
Prior to the shutdown in Iowa, Tyson was taking employee temperatures before shifts and increasing cleaning and sanitizing around the facility.