Bare shelves and closed facilities – is America facing a food shortage?April 14, 20202 min read
Earlier this week, South Dakota based, Smithfield Foods was ordered to closed its Sioux Falls pork production facility because workers at the plant tested positive for COVID-19.
It may be one facility; however, it is responsible for five percent of all the packaged pork in America.
While the plant is making the decision to close indefinitely, President and CEO Kenneth Sullivan said in the news release that the closure "is pushing our country perilously close to the edge in terms of our meat supply."
The Sioux Falls, South Dakota, plant accounts for 4% to 5% of the nation's pork production, the company says.
"We have continued to run our facilities for one reason: to sustain our nation’s food supply during this pandemic," Sullivan said. "We believe it is our obligation to help feed the country, now more than ever. We have a stark choice as a nation: We are either going to produce food or not, even in the face of COVID-19."
The release said the plant will be shut down until "further direction is received from local, state and federal officials." Employees will be compensated for the next two weeks, but there was no mention of payment if the plant is closed for longer. April 13 – USA Today
And it is not just Smithfield facing trouble. Tyson Foods and National Beef Packing are also shutting doors at facilities in Iowa.
So, what will this mean for American supermarkets, consumers and a nation already worried about supply? Is there any way to keep production sustainable amidst a COVID-190 outbreak?
If you are a journalist covering this emerging issue – then let our experts help.
Dr. Zach Jenkins is an infectious disease expert at Cedarville University. He is available to speak with media about this topic – simply click on his icon to arrange an interview.
Zach Jenkins Associate Professor of Pharmacy Practice & Clinical Specialist, Infectious Diseases
Dr. Zach Jenkins is an infectious disease expert who loves educating others about superbugs, antibiotic therapy, and emergency preparedness.