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Meatpacking cyberattack shows vulnerability in Utah's supply chain

Posted at 5:08 PM, Jun 02, 2021

HYRUM, Utah — This week's cyberattack on JBS meatpacking plants shows a vulnerability in Utah’s own supply chain, according to Utah Department of Agriculture Deputy Commissioner Kelly Pehrson.

“I have never even thought a cyberattack on food. It is a necessary resource,” said Pehrson.

READ: 'Vast majority' of JBS meat processing plants will be operational Wednesday after ransomware attack

The state has been in contact with the Hyrum JBS plant which reports they are at — or close to — full production on Wednesday.
“Our systems are coming back online and we are not sparing any resources to fight this threat,” Andre Nogueira, CEO of JBS USA, said in a statement.

Pehrson doesn’t expect the cyberattack to disrupt the local supply chain.

The United Food and Commercial Workers International Union reported a shutdown of the Hyrum plant Tuesday and urged JBS to pay the 1,200 local employees for the missed work.

“They do provide a great service to a lot of producers in Utah, as well as Idaho. They’ve just had a rough go,” said Pehrson.

A COVID-19 outbreak at the Hyrum meat plant killed at least one employee last year. At least 441 employees contracted the virus.

Calls to JBS by FOX 13 for comment have yet to be returned.