In this file:
· Smithfield faces scrutiny over increased exports of 'underutilized' meats to China
· Mass testing at Milan's Smithfield plant reveals 14 more COVID-19 cases
Smithfield faces scrutiny over increased exports of 'underutilized' meats to China
KOTA TV (SD)
May 14, 2020
SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (DAKOTA NEWS NOW) - Smithfields Foods says they are continuing to focus on the U.S. meat supply as meat processors face scrutiny over increased exports to China.
A spokesperson for Smithfield Foods says a majority of meat being exported to China consist of "underutilized" products that are generally not consumed in the U.S.
Meat supply problems
The meat supply has faced increased pressure recently as several processing plants, including Smithfield's plant in Sioux Falls, were temporarily shuttered due to COVID-19 outbreaks that sickened hundreds of workers.
Late last month, President Donald Trump issued an executive order labeling meat processing plants vital infrastructure, requiring them to stay open.
The meat processing industry then faced criticism following a report from Reuters that indicated that meat exports to China have increased even as supply dropped amid the shutdowns. Critics argued the point of the executive order was to strengthen the U.S. meat supply.
U.S. meat processors argue that export markets are very complex and that some statistics can be misleading.
"Much of what is exported are items that attract little or no interest from domestic consumers like offal and underutilized muscle cuts," said Keira Lombardo, Smithfield Foods Executive Vice President of Corporate Affairs." For the most part, the U.S. does not export packaged meats products like bacon, ham and sausage.”
Offal are meat cuts made with the internal organs of an animal, including kidneys, tripe, and tongue.
“Specific to Sioux Falls, 100% of what is exported to China is offal," Lombardo said. "No packaged meats products at all are shipped to China."
Background for exports to China ...
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Mass testing at Milan's Smithfield plant reveals 14 more COVID-19 cases
by KTVO (MO)
May 14th 2020
MILAN, Mo. — On Thursday, the Sullivan County Health Department confirmed 14 additional positive cases of COVID-19 in Sullivan County.
These positive cases were identified through a mass testing process done at the Smithfield Foods plant in Milan this week.
The testing was voluntary for employees.
Sullivan County Memorial Hospital CEO Tony Keene, who helped head up the testing at the plant, told KTVO that a number of community members who do not work at the Smithfield facility were also tested.
Right now, Sullivan County sits at a total of 24 cases with 23 of those cases remaining active.
These additional positive cases have been determined to be community related.
No further information is being released about the individuals.
The Sullivan County Health Department is continuing to conduct case investigations to determine close contacts of these cases.
If you are someone who has been identified as a close contact, you will be notified by the health department. They will then walk through recommendations on how to proceed with quarantine measures...