Tyson Foods closes largest pork plant amid COVID-19 outbreak

IOWA CITY: Tyson Foods Inc (TSN.N) in the United States announced on Wednesday that it is shutting down operations at its Waterloo pork plant  indefinitely amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

Earlier on Sunday, Smithfield Foods, the world’s biggest pork processor said to indefinitely suspend operations at a U.S. plant indefinitely due to a rash of coronavirus cases.

“Despite our continued efforts to keep our people safe while fulfilling our critical role of feeding American families, the combination of worker absenteeism, COVID-19 cases and community concerns has resulted in our decision to stop production,”

Stouffer acknowledged, “…the plant is part of a larger supply chain that includes hundreds of independent farmers, truckers, distributors and customers, including grocers.”

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The current suspension at the Waterloo plant, its largest pork processing facility plant may add to the disruption of the nation’s pork supply chain.

Tyson said the workers affected by the closure of the plant would be compensated.

The plant employs nearly 3,000 workers and can process about 19,500 hogs per day, accounting for nearly 4% of the U.S. pork processing capacity, as per the National Pork Board.

Shares of Tyson Foods (NYSE: TSN) on Wednesday traded lower at $60.09, down 2.96% from the prior day.

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