Smithfield Foods pork plant faces OSHA fine from outbreak

Virus Outbreak South Dakota
The Smithfield pork processing plant in Sioux Falls, S.D., is seen Wednesday, April 8, 2020, where health officials reported more than 80 employees have confirmed cases of the coronavirus (AP Photo/Stephen Groves)

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (AP) — Federal regulators have cited Smithfield Foods for failing to protect employees from exposure to the coronavirus at the company’s Sioux Falls plant, an early hot spot for virus infections that hobbled American meatpacking plants.

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration found that employees were working closely together and exposed to the coronavirus.

The citation included the latest assessment of the virus’ impact at the Sioux Falls plant, with four workers killed by COVID-19, at least 1,294 infected and 43 hospitalized. Only two deaths among employees had been previously known.

Smithfield Foods, which is based in Virginia, says it plans to contest the citation and $13,494 fine.

Categories: Local News, South Dakota News

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