Two large meat facilities shutdown because of too many employee COVID-19 cases | Food Safety News

COVID-19 has pressured the closures of the Smithfield Foods red meat processing plant in Sioux Falls, SD, and the JBS USA red meat plant in Greeley, CO.

Smithfield on Easter Sunday introduced the previous John Morrell plant in Sioux Falls, one of the most important red meat processing facilities within the U.S., can be closed indefinitely. JBS on Monday stated the Greeley red meat plant can be close down till April 24.

Smithfield and JBS have been reacting to experiences that their facilities in Sioux Falls and Greeley have turn into “hotspots” for COVID-19. The South Dakota Department of Health stated 238 Smithfield staff have examined certain for COVID-19, accounting for roughly part the cases in Minnehaha County and 38 % of the state’s cases.  And Colorado’s Weld County Health Department had already ordered JBS to near for 4 days because 43 red meat plant staff are inflamed with COVID-19.

Further, South Dakota  Gov. Kristi Noem and Sioux Falls Mayor Paul TenHaken, wrote Smithfield on Saturday, recommending the corporate suspended operations for a minimal of 14 days. They advised the power be wiped clean and staff are given time to recuperate from any suspected sickness.

Smithfield employes 3,700 in Sioux Falls.  The corporate opted for an indefinite shutdown.

JBS started the weekend with plans to check all of its Greeley workforces after studying that two of its staff had died from COVID-19 similar headaches and 43 had examined certain for the virus.

After pronouncing plans to “test all of its team members at the Greeley, CO, beef production facility,” JBS erected a lot of tents out of doors the plant in its parking a lot for that goal.

JBS is Greeley’s greatest employer with 6,000 other people, about 3,500 on the red meat plant and the remaining at its company headquarters.

Those trying out plans, on the other hand, have been canceled on Easter Sunday with out giving staff who confirmed up any more information. Large hand-painted indicators have been submit on the entrances to the meat plant’s parking a lot that merely stated: “Tests Cancelled.”

After leaving staff at midnight since Sunday, JBS in spite of everything introduced in a while after 1 p.m. Monday that it used to be winding down operations on the plant and “its Greeley beef team members” must safe haven in position till returning to paintings.

After the corporate’s announcement, the Weld County Health Department disclosed that on Friday, it had ordered JBS to right away shut the power from April 10 till five a.m., Wednesday, April 15 over the unfold of COVID-19.   The county’s decree referred to as for finishing the screening, trying out, and cleansing by way of an April 15 re-opening. 

JBS stated it’s going to proceed to pay its staff all through the plant shutdown.

The Greeley red meat plant is the second one transient closure introduced by way of JBS. It first shuttered its Souderton, PA, red meat manufacturing facility. The corporate stated there’s been larger absenteeism at a couple of different vegetation, however maximum proceed to perform “at or near capacity in an effort to continue providing food for Americans.”

JBS USA, owned by way of Brazil’s JBS, S.A., operates greater than 60 meat, poultry and ready meals facilities around the United States.

JBS bought $1 million value of COVID-19 take a look at kits, however has determined to have its Greeley staff self-quarantine till the re-opening in what it calls a “more aggressive action.” It is buying any other 1,000 COVID-19 take a look at kits for low-income and uninsured for native Weld County citizens who do require trying out.

The corporate could also be making those further donations:

  • $50,000 for generating mask for native citizens.
  • $90,000 for the Greeley Personal isolation Facility for convalescing COVID-19 Patients (frees up clinic area)
  • $100,000 for the Weld County Food Bank.

Greeley Mayor John Gates, quoted within the corporate commentary, stated JBS “is a great community partner and this assistance is vital and timely.”  Andre Nogueira, JBS USA CEO, stated the Greeley red meat plant “is critical to the U.S. food supply and local producers,” however stated the unfold of coronavirus in Weld County “requires decisive action.”

Meanwhile, Syracuse University Supply Chain Professor Rong Li stated the hard work scarcity created by way of pandemic may just give upward thrust to automation within the trade. 

“ Although currently there’s no evidence of COVID-19 being transmitted through food, we will likely see other plants follow suit due to food safety concerns as well as a shortage of labor and management as more employees contract COVID-19, said the Professor.  ” Over the years, meat processors were higher supplied to take care of meals questions of safety that get up from the meals itself. This pandemic, on the other hand, forces them to be supplied to take care of meals questions of safety that come from the employee and the dearth of hard work.”


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