Threat of Sick Workers at U.S. Meat Plants Forces Policy Changes

In shelter-in-place America, people have been filling their freezers full of meat just in case. Meanwhile, at the plants where the meat is packed, the big question is: What happens if the workers start getting sick?

The potential for a coronavirus-related disruption is raising difficult questions for those who track an industry that’s suddenly of critical importance to the nation’s well-being. Some warn that meat packers should prepare for the inevitable.

“I am extremely doubtful that we can get through the next few weeks without any packing plant Covid-19 disruptions,” said David Kruse, president of CommStock Investments in Royal, Iowa. He compared the situation to a hurricane making landfall that upends plant operations. “It will be a miracle if all plants run un-impacted.”

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