A major Pennsylvania meatpacker plans to reopen next week after halting production because of pest sightings.
Production at the JBS USA plant in Souderton was halted voluntarily to enhance pest control in nonproduction areas after unspecified pests were seen around the perimeter of the facility, Al Almanza, JBS' global head of food safety and quality assurance, said in a statement.
Structural upgrades were also done during the closure, Almanza said.
The USDA Food Safety and Inspection Service withdrew its inspection for the plant on Oct. 25, meaning the business could not operate as a federally inspected establishment. The company has since taken corrective actions.
Almanza said no product was affected, and the plant's workforce was not affected.
Cattlemen are looking forward to the plant reopening, said Ann Nogan, executive assistant for the Pennsylvania Cattlemen's Association.
Cattle producers benefit from the competition between JBS and the Cargill plant in Wyalusing, the two main packers in the state, so temporarily losing demand from one of them was significant, Nogan said.
Prices were depressed in Pennsylvania even as prices were rising in the rest of the country, but Nogan said business could pick up again once the plant reopens.
In the meantime, farmers have been keeping fed beef cattle and dairy cull cows on the farm longer than they anticipated, she said.