Washington, DC (ABC) - President Donald Trump used the Defense Production Act to force meat processing plans to remain open and keep the supply chain going for pork, poultry and beef products.
Critics said the move puts plant workers at risk.
The United Food and Commercial Workers International Union said the order would put worker's lives in jeopardy.
Commissioner of the Minnesota Department of Health Jan Malcomb said the order is causing problems, "At a time when we are seeing such explosive increases in the number of cases and impacts on surrounding communities, it seems problematic."
The union said 20 food-processing workers have died of COVID-19 and 6,500 workers have been made sick or exposed to the virus in the nation during the pandemic.
Meatpacking plants across the nation have reported decreased productivity due to a variety of virus causes.
Experts maintain it will mean a slowdown of meat on supermarket shelves.
Supermarket chain owner Stew Leonard told ABC's "Good Morning America" that people should not panic, "If you want to feel a little more comfortable, buy a few steaks, and buy a few more cans of tuna and beans for your pantry. I don't think there is any reason to panic right now."