A major poultry plant in Brampton, Ontario. suspended operations after three people working at the facility tested positive for COVID-19.
In a statement released late Wednesday morning, Maple Leaf Foods said the decision to close the facility was made “with great care.”
“As a large food company in a critical industry, Maple Leaf Foods is doing everything we can to protect the health of our 13,000 team members while producing the food that our customers in North America and Asia have more than ever needed, “said the company.
“Our first priority is to ensure the safety of our employees. So the decision was made to close the facility pending a full risk assessment. “
No further information was disclosed on the three employees who were diagnosed with the virus and the last time they worked at the facility.
Maple Leaf Foods has said it will thoroughly clean up the plant, including common areas and offices, while an investigation into the COVID-19 cases takes place.
“We will not resume operations until we are convinced that it is safe to return to work,” they said.
Another case of COVID-19 has also been confirmed at the Maple Leaf Foods Heritage plant in Hamilton, Ontario. The company said the worker had not been at the factory for two weeks before the diagnosis.
“We have completed a complete remediation at Heritage and the plant is fully operational.”
In their statement, Maple Leaf Foods stated that it had taken many measures to ensure the safety of its employees, including increased hygiene in common areas, social distancing and the spreading of breaks and shifts to avoid clutter . The company has also converted offices into break rooms and gradually introduced temperature control for front-line workers.
“This is a very fluid situation and our teams are working closely within our network, as well as with our supply chain and logistics partners so that we can continue to deliver healthy food at this critical time, “they said.
“This is truly an unprecedented time for our business and the entire food industry. Maple Leaf Foods takes our responsibility to feed people seriously every day of the year. You have personal assurance that we are in solidarity with our 13,000 team members and our customers to get through this difficult crisis. “