Major meat processor resumes operations after cyberattack

Photo (c) Hispanolistic - Getty Images

JBS said U.S. plants are back online and shipping product

There shouldn’t be any shortage of ground beef at the supermarket. JBS, the world’s largest meat processor, said it and its U.S. subsidiary Pilgrim’s would resume operations today at most plants after a weekend cyberattack.

The company announced Sunday it had been the victim of hackers who seized the firms’ computer networks in North America and Australia. Industry analysts warned of supply chain issues and shortages in the U.S. if the shutdown lasted a week or more.

Andre Nogueira, CEO of JBS USA, said he expects the "vast majority" of the company’s processing plants to be back in operation within 24 hours after all U.S. beef processing facilities were idled on Monday and most of Tuesday.

“Our systems are coming back online and we are not sparing any resources to fight this threat,” Nogueira said. “We have cybersecurity plans in place to address these types of issues and we are successfully executing those plans.”

Supplies are flowing again

The company said it and its subsidiary companies were able to ship product from nearly all of its facilities to supply customers on Tuesday. It reported continued progress in resuming plant operations in the U.S. and Australia, where operations were also disrupted.

In fact, JBS disclosed that a number of its pork, poultry and prepared foods plants were operational Tuesday and its Canada beef facility resumed production. The company said it received strong support from the U.S., Australian, and Canadian governments.

“I want to personally thank the White House, the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation, the U.S. Department of Agriculture, and the Australian and Canadian governments for their assistance over the last two days,” Nogueira said

With the resumption of operations, there should be no glitches in the supply chain and consumers should continue to see normal supplies of product at grocery stores.

JBS also said it is not aware of any evidence at this time that any customer, supplier, or employee data was compromised in the hack. 

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