Chicago-JBS USA halted production on Monday at the Nebraska beef plant, which has killed about 5% of US cattle because of a fire, but said the company expects to resume operations on Tuesday.
The temporary shutdown highlighted concerns among US lawmakers and ranchers that the United States is vulnerable to supply disruptions as a handful of meatpacking companies dominate the region and rely on large plants to produce food.
The country has suffered a series of beef supply shocks over the past two years as the COVID-19 pandemic led to the closure of large plants, a cyberattack that paralyzed JBS’s operations, and another fire that took months. for the closure of a Tyson Foods Inc. plant in Kansas.
The JBS fire in Grand Island, Nebraska, did not affect the plant’s “primary production areas,” said spokeswoman Nikki Richardson. He said the subsidiary of Brazilian firm JBS SA expects to resume operations on Tuesday pending an assessment of the situation.
Grand Island Fire Department chief Corey Schmidt said the fire burned a hole in the roof of the part of the plant that handles rendering, and the damage was confined to the rendering area.
“Fortunately, JBS is very modular, so if there is a problem in one area, for the most part it doesn’t affect other areas,” he said.
According to a daily livestock report by Steiner Consulting Group, the plant has the potential to kill 6,000 cattle a day. Meatpackers slaughter around 120,000 cattle per day across the country.
“This year, processing capacity has already been squeezed by COVID disruptions and labor availability and the industry could risk losing such a large processing plant,” Steiner Consulting said.
by Tom Polansky
This News Originally From – The Epoch Times