The pandemic of coronavirus affected every industry in America and around the globe. While the other industries are affected due to being closed down, the food industry is affected because it has to stay functional. The food industry is considered one of the few essential industries, where the food manufacturers are allowed to produce food and the food processors are allowed to process food. Keeping them running doesn’t mean they cannot be affected. They are hit by the lack of workforce due to people getting sick, the supply chain got distorted due to the limited availability of food distributors. The food manufacturers couldn’t get raw materials for their products and hence the production is limited.
The safety of food workers is a major cause of concern and in order to keep these industries running, the workers have to be protected. The food manufacturing facilities often force people into working in confined spaces, and without the personal protection equipment, it is impossible to make sure the workers will not catch the virus.
The Michigan food industry, specifically the meat industry is going through an overhaul considering the circumstances. According to the reports, there are more than 42,000 confirmed cases in Michigan and more than 3800 deaths due to the COVID-19. The number of food workers working in the beef and pork processing industry contracted the virus and hence Michigan's pork and beef industries decided to decrease the production of the meat. According to their spokesperson, they wanted to install proper safety and protection equipment for the workers working in the facilities. From the visible areas where workers can work while social distancing to the availability of personal protection equipment, all of that is going to be implemented in the facilities. There are other measures, such as installing Plexiglas where social distancing is not physically possible, etc. These measures are taken so that these plants can resume their full production and the chance of workers contracting the virus reaches a minimum.
In addition to that, the plants that are working are following strict guidelines, such as; outdoor processing wherever it is possible, the outdoor break areas, where it is easier to observe social distancing. The older workers are requested to stay at home since they are at the most risk of contracting the virus. The people who were in contact with the person who was diagnosed with coronavirus are required to quarantine themselves.
The authorities have advised the people to not panic-buy meat in these circumstances, as it might take meat completely off the shelves given the conditions. The food manufacturers are also expected to resume production as soon as possible. Working with limited resources, the food manufacturers can use software like food ERP to help them better manage these resources. Food ERP is the perfect companion for the food industry when it comes to better resource management. Food ERP allows the food manufacturers to direct the resources where they need them the most helping them be more effective and efficient in their production.