Tyson closes Iowa pork plant amid COVID-19 outbreak


Tyson closes Iowa pork plant amid COVID-19 outbreak

More packing plants are being impacted by the coronavirus pandemic.

Tyson Foods has suspended operations at its pork processing plant in Columbus Junction, Iowa this week after more than two dozen workers became infected with COVID-19. 

In a release on Monday, Tyson Foods CEO Noel White said the closure is out of an abundance of caution and in order to minimize the impact on the company’s overall production, Tyson is diverting the livestock supply originally scheduled for delivery at the affected plant to other Tyson pork plants in the region. 

The facility kills just over 10,000 hogs per day, or about 2 percent of the country’s total slaughter capacity. 

This is the latest disruption to the food supply chain due to the virus, National Beef Packing Company said it has suspended cattle slaughter at a plant in Tama, Iowa this week for cleaning that was originally scheduled later this month.

White says the company is working hard to protect team members during the ever-changing situation while also ensuring the company is able to fulfill its rule in helping feed people across the company.  He says the company’s meat and poultry plants are experiencing varying levels of production impact due to the planned implementation of additional work safety precautions and worker absenteeism. 

He says the company has been taking the temperature of workers at all locations before they enter facilities.  They’ve also increased their deep cleaning and sanitizing of facilities, especially employee breakrooms, locker rooms, and other areas. 

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