Fact Check-Food processing plant fires in 2022 are not part of a conspiracy to trigger U.S. food shortages

Social media users are sharing the claim that there is a planned increase in fires at food processing plants to purposefully create food shortages. However, there is no evidence to support this claim.

Examples can be seen (here) and (here).

The text in one post reads: “Food processing plants don’t just “accidentally” burn down at this rate and they certainly don’t “coincidentally” become landing pads for plane crashes at the rate they are. Our food supply is under attack in America. The question is—by who?”

One image (here) lists 12 fire incidents in food processing plants around the country.

There is no evidence to suggest that any of these fires were premeditated in an effort to create a food shortage.

Fact checkers Snopes (here) and Logically (here) have debunked the claim.

U.S. News & World Report (here) and WCNC (here) have also debunked the claim.

WCNC linked to further reports on several of the 2022 incidents, noting most were accidental or did not have any indication of foul play (here).

Likewise, Reuters did not find any evidence that the 2022 incidents were intentional or planned for the sake of creating food shortages, and fires at food processing plants are not uncommon. Past examples can be seen (here) (here) (here) (here) (here).

The USDA told Reuters via email that the claims saying these fires were caused by arsons are false.

Senior Vice President of Communications at the National Chicken Council Tom Super told Reuters via email that the claims seemed to be “fake news.”

“I can only speak for chicken, but like any manufacturing plant/industry, there are generally a few fires that occur each year across the country. The majority of them are accidental and are contained rather quickly. And certainly not enough to affect the chicken supply,” Super said.

A representative for General Mills, one of the companies named in the posts being shared, told Reuters via email that the company has not “experienced any arson at our manufacturing facilities.”

“On April 21, a small plane crashed near the General Mills Covington, GA cereal and snack manufacturing facility,” General Mills said. “No employees were harmed, the plant did not experience any disruptions and it remains fully operational.”

U.S. food prices rose 8.8% in March 2022 from a year earlier, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (here). This was due to a variety of factors including supply chain, worker shortages and Russia’s invasion of Ukraine (here), (here).

According to a 2019 report from the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) (here), there are over 36,000 food processing plants in the United States.


False. Accidents and fires at food processing plants in 2022 were not planned to intentionally create food shortages.

This article was produced by the Reuters Fact Check team. Read more about our fact-checking work  here  .