Smithfield Foods Inc. said it will idle its Sioux Falls, South Dakota, pork-processing plant indefinitely, the latest disruption in the U.S. food supply chain as manufacturers close facilities to limit the spread of the coronavirus.
The plant is one of the largest pork-processing facilities in the U.S., accounting for at least 4% of production in the country, the Smithfield, Virginia-based company said in a statement. Smithfield says it will reopen the plant when it receives further direction from local, state and federal authorities.
The plant was the site of an outbreak of Covid-19 cases. The Associated Press on April 10 quoted South Dakota Governor Kristi Noem as saying there were 190 cases tied to an outbreak at the site.
The Smithfield facility’s 3,700 employees will receive pay for at least two weeks during the shutdown, the company said.
Food production plants across the U.S. are curbing their output and idling facilities as the deadly respiratory virus spreads to rural communities.