APR 21, 2020
Smithfield Foods, which recently had to shut down a pork production plant after more than 350 workers tested positive for COVID-19, is blaming immigrant workers for the coronavirus outbreak. A spokesperson said “living circumstances in certain cultures” enabled the rapid spread of the disease. Employees and investigations into the outbreak, however, show Smithfield made a number of missteps in managing early signs of the outbreak, including concealing infections and compelling employees to work without protection. The South Dakota Smithfield plant that was closed now has well over 700 COVID-positive people, and those related to them, in the area, a major hot spot in the United States.
Smithfield Foods, Inc., is a meat-processing company based in Smithfield, Virginia, in the United States, and a wholly owned subsidiary of WH Group of China. Founded in 1936 as the Smithfield Packing Company by Joseph W. Luter and his son, the company is the largest pig and pork producer in the world.