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Food Supply Worries Grow After Outbreak Closes Smithfield Meat Plant

With the COVID-19 pandemic going on, we are aware that every industry is going through a tough time. But when it comes to the food industry, the situation is even worse. Food industry workers work closely to each other and if one of them catches a virus, chances are it is going to spread like wildfire. Similar thing happened with the Pork processor Smithfield Foods. Smithfield Foods is one of the leading food manufacturers of the country, supplying five percent of the country's pork demand. They had to shut down because their workers contracted the virus and it spread quickly in their company.

The consumers and work safety groups are trying to highlight the importance of the Smithfield incident and how there is a strong need for taking the action. According to the food manufacturers, the government should provide the personal protective equipment to the food workers as they are also considered to be essential workers in these times. It is not only just the Smithfield foods; other meat manufactures are also shutting some of their plants down, due to the reported cases among their workers. Food manufacturers have warned the public about a possible meat shortage in the coming days due to this.

While there hasn’t been any evidence of the virus being transmitted through food packaging and food products, as it spreads from person to person, the large number of cases in the food industry requires to be taken a look at. The biggest risk is working together in confined spaces, while the food doesn’t spread the virus, the workers working in the food industry do. If one of them fails to follow the proper protocol, all of them are at risk, since they are not using personal protective equipment.

Food workers are essential workers, but they are not being treated as such, they don’t have any personal protective equipment. While the government is showing their gratitude towards them, they aren’t doing anything to support that claim. If we wish to fight this pandemic, we will have to provide personal protective equipment to workers of the food industry. The food manufacturers must consider that food manufacturing is an essential business, but it is not immune to coronavirus. They should start taking action. Food manufacturers can use food ERP software to manage the workload by making more shifts with less workers at the time. The food ERP software is geared to be applied in the food industry, hence there will be no learning curve involved and it can be done swiftly and we can see the significant results.

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