The COVID-19 pandemic has caused massive, heartbreaking devastation both in the number of lives lost and the number of livelihoods threatened.
The meat industry has been hit especially hard: 67 meat plant workers have died and more than 17,000 have been sickened. In addition to this horrific human cost, COVID-19 has rattled the very infrastructure of the meat channel, with grocers scrambling to stem panic meat buying, meat companies shutting down as workers fall ill, and farmers and ranchers struggling to get their animals processed.
The virus has also created another new reality for those of us in the meat business: The barn doors have been flung open. COVID-19 has resulted in meat processors further pulling back the curtain on their operations to show their employees, public health officials and consumers the measures they are taking to keep their workforce safe and the meat supply moving.
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