(NewsReady.com) – A few weeks ago we reported on how a major pork manufacturer was threatened by the coronavirus infecting its workers. That was just a sign of things to come for the meat industry. Now, beef, pork, and poultry packing plants are scrambling to stay operational while keeping their employees and customers safe. President Donald Trump is looking into the problem.
Over a two-month period, pork processing has reduced by 25% and beef by 10%. Currently, American meat supplies in storage can last about two weeks if production were to completely halt right now. While we still have a few weeks before a worst-case scenario happens, production would need to remain relatively stable to ensure Americans have easy access to protein.
There’s a real threat of a meat supply shortage and Trump could be taking action to remedy this. On April 28, the president signaled the industry could be an essential service and might sign an order to address liability concerns for Tyson Food Inc., and other animal processing companies. In order to help them stay open, the government would also provide personal protective equipment (PPE) for the workers.
BREAKING: Trump plans to order meat processing plants to STAY OPEN, declaring them critical infrastructure under Defense Production Act. Order meant to stave off shortage of beef, chicken, eggs, pork. Plant closures could have shut down as much as 80% of capacity, source says.
— Jennifer Jacobs (@JenniferJJacobs) April 28, 2020
The White House is working closely with meat producer executives to ensure that grocery stores can continue to be safely stocked with staple sources of protein.
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