Iowa fines beef plant $957 after huge coronavirus outbreak
- Iowa Premium Beef Plant located in Tama, IA has been issued a citation by Iowa regulators for a large coronavirus outbreak that resulted in 338 of the plant’s 850 workers testing positive for the virus.
- The Iowa Occupational Safety and Health Administration cited the plant for failing to keep a required log of workplace-related injuries and illnesses, and for failing to provide the document within four hours after inspectors requested it.
- Both these violations were labeled as “other-than serious.”
- On September 2nd, Iowa OSHA administrator, Russell Perry, approved a settlement with Iowa Premium Beef that reduced the original penalty of $1,914 to a $957 fine.
- Along with paying this fine, the company also agreed to correct the violations.
- Democrats and labor activists have criticized OSHA for a negligent approach to worker safety during the pandemic. On the flip side, Iowa’s Governor Kim Reynolds, has defended the state’s approach, claiming it has helped to keep an imperative industry operating while protecting workers.
- The plant has taken steps to prevent the virus’ spread by installing plastic barriers where possible, staggering breaks, adding seating, providing hand sanitizer and checking temperatures before entry.
Cattle on feed report
- Cattle on feed as of September 1st; 11.4 million hd., 104 percent compared to 2019.
- This is the highest September 1 inventory recorded since the series began in 1996.
- Placements; 2.09 million hd. during August, 9 percent more than the same period in 2019.
- Placements have been drawn-out through the summer after they were significantly light in the spring.
- Marketings; 1.89 million hd. during August, down 3 percent compared to 2019.
- For the most part, this report is considered neutral to bearish.
USDA funds $1 million in research project studying Covid-19 in U.S. beef supply chain
- The USDA is funding a two-year research project worth $1 million that will identify how Covid-19 may be transmitted in the nation’s beef supply chain from cattle to packages of meat. The project is set to begin in October.
- The goal is to help reduce the risk of exposure to the virus for consumers and people who work in the meat industry.
- Even though there is no evidence that the virus spreads through food or food packaging, the USDA feels that this should be studied in order to understand how it behaves throughout the beef supply chain.
- This research project comes at a time when China, the world’s top meat importer, continues to halt food imports from companies that have had their packaged products test positive for the virus.
Boxed beef prices
- Choice boxed beef: $219.34 (+1.86)
- Select boxed beef: $206.98 (-0.76)