If you are looking to cook up a loin of pork for your dinner then there may be a shortage soon. Virginia based Smithfield Food announced that it is closing its South Dakota pork processing plant until further notice after hundreds of their employees have tested positive for COVID-19.
According to APNews, South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem and Sioux Falls Mayor Paul TenHaken wrote to Smithfield and urged the company to suspend operations for 14 days so that its workers could self-isolate and the plant could be disinfected. According to health officials, 293 of the 730 people who have been diagnosed with COVID-19 in South Dakota work at the plant. The plant employs 3,700 people.
Smithfield president and CEO Kenneth Sullivan is concerned about the nations meat supply, saying, “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. It is impossible to keep our grocery stores stocked if our plants are not running. These facility closures will also have severe, perhaps disastrous, repercussions for many in the supply chain, first and foremost our nation’s livestock farmers.”
For more information on the closing, click here.