Severe storms hit US food operations

Posted by Josette Dunn on 7th February 2011

A storm that has covered almost half of the US in a blanket of snow is starting to take its toll on food makers and retailers in the country.Storms in the US have brought much of the Mid-West under around 60cm of snow, with parts of the southern US forecast to get snow and ice this week. The severe weather has meant many firms have had to stall operations temporarily.

US meat giant Tyson Foods said it has nine poultry plants in Arkansas and Missouri that are “either idle or running at reduced levels”.

“One of our pork plants in Iowa is idle, while our pork plant in Indiana is only scheduled to operate one shift,” a spokesperson told just-food. “Our beef plant in Illinois is only scheduled to operate one shift.”

Also affected is US food group ConAgra Foods, which operates offices in Naperville Illinois, just outside of Chicago, a badly-hit area. The offices, ConAgra said, were temporarily closed. Other operations were understood to be working with no real impact.

US retailer Target Corp. said it has seen some of its stores close as a result of the winter weather.

“Target stores work to stay open as long as it is safe for our guests and team members – as we want to be able to provide our communities what they need,” a spokesperson said.

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