U.S. Food Supply Chain Is Strained as Virus Spreads

Flipboard: U.S. Food Supply Chain Is Strained as Virus Spreads

The continuing spread of the COVID-19 coronavirus has put pressure on the U.S. food supply chain, as increasing numbers of workers at meat processing plants, food warehouses, and grocery stores have fallen ill with the virus. That could create disruptions in the production and distribution of products like pork, industry insiders said.

The looming food supply chain shortages are projected after a month of panic-shopping from many U.S. consumers, who stocked up on groceries and tested the supply chain in the process. But industry insiders said the shortages are more likely to be an inconvenience than a serious issue.

On Sunday, North Dakota-based Smithfield Foods became the latest company to announce a shutdown, closing its Sioux Falls processing plant after 230 workers fell ill. That plant produces more than 5 percent of the nation’s pork. Elsewhere in the country, meat plants and processors in Pennsylvania and Iowa have temporarily closed because of the pandemic.

Meanwhile, grocery store employees have fallen ill after continuing to work through the pandemic, often without personal protective equipment despite being classified as essential workers.

source: New York Times

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