With the J-B-S pork processing plant in Worthington indefinitely closed by a COVID outbreak, state Agriculture Commissioner Thom Petersen says they’re in constant contact with other facilities in Minnesota:

“We have roughly 20 other large packing companies and our goal… is to keep those plants running. It’s incredibly important.”

Petersen says ag officials are also working with smaller plants to build capacity, and released 345 thousand dollars in grants last week.

Petersen stresses to consumers…

“There’s no evidence of food or food packaging being associated with transmission of COVID-19 and… it’s safe to consume pork, especially using everyday safe food-handling techniques.”

Petersen says Minnesota producers currently have enough pigs to meet demand, but closures of packing and processing facilities will “make things very challenging.”

Petersen:

“We have enough pigs to meet our demands right now, but with closures of packing plants and processing facilities, it’s gonna make things very challenging.”