While many meat processing plants are highly automated, many workers must process meat in close quarters. See the beef processing video from Amazing Tube.
Of course, this places workers at extreme risk for catching and spreading the coronavirus. They must be supplied with masks and other personal protective equipment (PPE) as additional priorities to those healthcare workers and first responders who need the N95 masks and other PPE.
As more beef, pork, and chicken processing plants either shut down indefinitely or suspend operations for several weeks, the food supply chain will be severely affected until measures are put in place to protect workers and clean and sanitize the plants.
These recent videos cover some of the U.S. plants and the measures being taken. The first is from IEN Now Magazine.
Another video from News Today covers the Smithfield Pork Processing Plant closure in Sioux Falls, South Dakota. This plant, one of the largest of its kind in the U.S., accounts for 130 million pork servings per week. At the time of the video, the number of COVID-19 positive workers accounted for over half of the positive cases in South Dakota’s most impacted county and continues to grow.
You can watch the video here.