In April, widespread virus outbreaks among workers in the US meatpacking industry (see: here & here) forced some companies to shutter production lines. According to the CDC, as many as 16,000 workers were infected, and 86 died from the virus. By late spring, some meatpacking plants’ closures created chaos for farmers, many of whom had to cull thousands of animals. The turmoil continued down the chain to supermarkets, where some experienced shortages of meat products or had to limit purchases – ultimately resulting in surging meat prices.
Banks said Tyson’s new infection-tracking algorithms allow him to monitor internal testing results via a dashboard. To make this possible, Tyson launched a weekly “surveillance testing” program in July that tests employees at each production facility.