Ag News: USDA Dollars to Feed Hunger and No COVID-19 in Meat
**Besides billions of dollars in cash payments to farmers, coronavirus relief will include purchases of “as much” milk and meat as possible for hunger relief. According to Ag Secretary Sonny Perdue.
President Trump says at least $16 billion will be spent on aid to agriculture.
agriculture.com reports, stay-at-home orders and the near-shutdown of the food service industry “have led to marketing problems throughout food supply chains, with immediate and dramatic impacts across the country.
**The North American Meat Institute says consumers should be aware they cannot get sick from eating meat processed in a plant where workers have become ill with COVID-19.
President Julie Anna Potts says they’re following CDC guidelines for prevention of COVID-19 spread on top of their normal, stringent sanitation measures.
Potts tells agrimarketing.com, meat packaging and other surface areas in plants are also not a transmission risk.
Government officials with USDA and FDA stress the virus is NOT a foodborne illness.
**Tomato farmers say they're "rolling the dice" as they plant their crops amid tumultuous markets.
Demand for canned tomato products has risen during the pandemic, but sales to restaurants and other food-service customers have dropped.
Farmers say they're maintaining their planting plans for processing tomatoes that will be harvested this summer, and they’ve also adjusted operations to accommodate new employee safety measures during the pandemic.