What’s With All the Food Processing Plants Blowing Up Lately?

by Jeff Reynolds, PJ Media:

A weird trend has emerged over the past few months that seems statistically unlikely. A number of factories, logistical centers, and food processing plants have caught fire or exploded, including two that had planes crash on them. More and more people have noticed and wondered about the trend on social media. Of course, this has caused the conspiracy theorists to come out in force, so one must make a sober assessment without jumping to conclusions. But man, this is weird. With all the negative pressures on our economy and supply chains, and even Joe Biden talking about global food shortages over the next several months, one has to wonder what’s going on here.

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One large logistics center going up in flames is enough to sit up and take notice. That happened at a Walmart distribution center in Indianapolis on March 21, requiring over 350 firefighters to extinguish:

Around 1,000 employees were inside a Walmart Fulfillment Center in Plainfield, near Indianapolis, Wednesday afternoon when a fire broke out.

Crews battled the blaze as the fire sent large plumes of smoke into the air, visible from miles away.

By Friday, Plainfield Fire Territory Fire Chief Brent Anderson said the fire was out, although crews moving debris are still suppressing hot spots.

“We are working our 50th hour since this event started at about noon on Wednesday,” Anderson said.

A second Walmart Fulfillment Center is located next to one that caught fire. The second building closed Wednesday and remained closed Thursday due to its proximity to the burning building.

The facility that caught fire is about 1.2 million square feet, about the size of 20 football fields. Fire crews had the fire contained to the first Walmart fulfillment Center building, officials said.

A fire of that size is big enough to cause temporary, localized disruptions in an already stressed supply chain. Reviewing media reports going back six months, a larger trend emerges.

An explosion caused significant damage at Shearer’s Foods in Hermiston, Ore. in February, leaving seven workers injured. In April, a Salinas, Calif. food processing plant suffered a large fire that threatened to cause an ammonia explosion, leading to local evacuations.

A large fire two weeks ago at the Port of Benicia in California took over 24 hours to extinguish, leading to fears of further gas price hikes:

It took firefighters just over 24 hours to put out a four-alarm fire at the port of Benicia that broke out Saturday afternoon. While investigators look for the cause of the fire, the port and the companies that use it are assessing how big an economic impact the fire will have in the Bay Area.

The Valero refinery uses the Benicia port to offload crude oil from freighters. The fire damaged a conveyor belt that transports a byproduct of the refining process called petroleum coke which must be eliminated. Energy experts say that, if Valero can’t get rid of the petroleum coke, it will disrupt their ability to produce gasoline.

“Any kind of a supply constraint like this will tend to push (gas) prices up,” said Dave Hackett, chairman of Stillwater Associates, a transportation and energy consulting company based in Irvine.

This after a gas pipeline in Michigan exploded in March.

On April 19, a fire destroyed the Azure Standard Headquarters in Dufur, Ore. The CEO said:

For our customers, three primary product groups are affected due to the destroyed automated liquid pour facility, fruit packing facilities and carob products facilities. Because of this, we will experience out-of-stock status for Azure Market oils, honey and vinegars – basically any Azure Market liquid product – as well as our carob products for the short term. We are not yet at fruit harvest, so no immediate impact will be experienced from the loss of our fruit packing facility. None of the products we distribute for our vendors will be affected.

In March, a fire destroyed a potato plant in Belfast, Maine:

The large fire at a potato processing plant in Belfast is expected to have ripple effects across Maine’s agriculture industry.

The Penobscot McCrum plant processed Maine-grown spuds into products sold around the country.

A fire tore through the building Thursday morning, destroying the facility and leaving the 138 people who work there without a job.

Don Flannery, executive director of the Maine Potato Board, said the loss of the plant will have a negative impact on the state’s potato growers.

“I think everyone wants to do everything they can to get that plant back because it’s important in our industry. It has a very unique place in the market, Flannery said.

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