Over the past few weeks, PJ Media covered increasing numbers of food plants in America that caught fire, exploded or had planes crash into them. Since then, more food processing plants have been set ablaze and there have been many industrial fires. It is clear that no pattern has been established. These incidents seem random. None of these incidents have been linked together.
They aren’t all that many, but they continue to grow.
Although the FBI has not mentioned the plane crashes, fires and explosions, it did issue an alert regarding cyberattacks that could be timed to disrupt the harvest season.
Several more incidents occurred in the following month.
A large poultry processing plant in Minnesota was set on fire last week, killing thousands of chickens.
This was just days after another large chicken processing plant caught fire. The large fire that erupted over the weekend at Cargill’s London plant, Ontario, caused “significant damage.”
About 700 people work in the plant, which also processes large quantities of chicken products for McDonald’s.
A chemical plant in Omaha was also affected by several explosions and fire damage over Memorial Day weekend.
National Review’s Jim Geraghty pointed out that such disasters have not increased in number:
The “Baader-Meinhof Phenomenon”, also known as the “frequency illusion,” is what we are likely to be experiencing. “Frequency illusion” is when you hear a term, then suddenly feel that you are seeing it everywhere. It’s not that everything you are observing is happening at the same frequency. You just didn’t notice or ignore it.
People are now paying more attention to supply chains because of the empty shelves in early 2011. Many of us were affected by sudden interruptions in our food supply. Some meatpacking plants were temporarily shut down due to Covid outbreaks. Potato growers also found it difficult to deliver their potatoes to consumers during the pandemic. In early 2021, a hacker attack also occurred on a major beef supplier. In January, Omicron was also discovered by millions of Americans. This caused disruptions in shipments and led to product shortages and empty shelves across the country. These supply-chain issues are still not solved.
The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), PJ Media mentioned in the May 2 article, has now examined reports of incidents at food plants to see if a trend is emerging. NFPA reports
However, there is nothing unusual about the fires that occurred in food processing plants during the first months of the year. The National Fire Incident Reporting System keeps records of fires occurring at other facilities than food processing plants. However, data on these fires is not kept. It tracks fires in larger categories such as manufacturing, refrigerated storage and agricultural facilities. The number of fires that occurred at all processing or manufacturing plants in the country reached 5,300 in 2019, which is close to 15 per day. In addition, there were more than 2,000 fires in the country’s agricultural, grain, livestock and refrigerated storage areas. These could all be food processing operations.
Messerschmidt stated that food processing plants are susceptible to fires, just like other industrial facilities. She said that food is fuel. “So food is fuel.” Messerschmidt said.
Messerschmidt believes that the attention on these fires will shift from conspiracy theories surrounding them. However, she stated that it is still important to examine what went wrong in specific incidents.
The title of the article by NFPA — “Nothing To Seen Here” — could have sounded a warning. It also didn’t rely on “experts say” as a way to communicate its point. The point is that there are many fires in America and, as PJ Media reported, no trend has emerged.
There are many factors that could play a role, including fire prone plants, supply chain stress, deferred maintenance and insurance fraud. There have been a few high-profile cyberattacks and the FBI warned of more.
Although no new trend has been identified, it is something you should be aware of. It continues to put more strain on an already stressed domestic food supply system.