Three US meat plants close as coronavirus spreads

Leading US meat companies shuttered three facilities in Iowa and Pennsylvania that produce pork and beef due to COVID-19, further disrupting the US food supply chain.
calendar icon 7 April 2020
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According to reporting from Reuters, reduced meat output due to the shutdowns could restrict supplies of key products as grocery demand rises due to the ongoing pandemic.

Tyson Foods Inc shut a hog slaughterhouse in Columbus Junction, Iowa, for the week after more than 24 cases of COVID-19 involving employees at the facility, according to a statement. The company said it would divert hogs to other pork plants in order to minimise the disruption from the closure.

The National Beef Packing Co said it suspended cattle slaughtering this week at a plant in Tama, Iowa, for a cleaning that was previously scheduled for later this month.

"These are unprecedented times for our industry," National Beef said in a statement.

JBS USA said in a statement it halted operations at a beef plant in Souderton, Pennsylvania, and would restart production on 16 April. It added it decided to shut the facility to make sure it had "the appropriate management leadership in place before resuming operations."

JBS, a subsidiary of Brazil-based JBS SA, reduced operations at the facility last week after senior managers suffered flu-like symptoms.

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