JBS shuts major U.S. pork plant due to coronavirus, tightening meat supply

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CHICAGO (Reuters) – JBS USA said on Monday it would indefinitely shut a Minnesota hog slaughterhouse that produces about 5% of the country’s pork, in the latest disruption to the U.S. food supply chain from the coronavirus pandemic.

The closure limits the amount of meat the United States can produce for consumers during the outbreak and adds stress on farmers who are losing a market for their pigs.

JBS is closing a pork production facility in Worthington, Minnesota, that employs more than 2,000 workers and processes 20,000 hogs per day, according to a statement. It advised plant employees to follow a state order to stay at home to prevent the spread of the coronavirus, until the facility in Nobles County reopens.

“It is clear that the disease is far more widespread across the U.S. and in our county than official estimates indicate based on limited testing,” said Bob Krebs, president of JBS USA Pork.

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