MONMOUTH, Ill. (AP/CNN Newsource/KSFY) — A western Illinois pork-processing plant is suspending operations after some of its employees contracted COVID-19.
Smithfield Foods Inc. announced Friday that it will shutter operations at its Monmouth, Illinois, plant beginning Monday and until further notice.
The Virginia-based company says a “small portion” of the plant’s 1,700 employees tested positive for COVID-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus.
The Monmouth plant represents about 3 percent of U.S. fresh pork supplies and also produces bacon.
Employees will be paid during the closure.
Smithfield also has closed meatpacking plants in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, Cudahy, Wisconsin and Martin City, Missouri.
The Martin City plant is closing because it receives its raw materials directly from the company’s plant in Sioux Falls, Smithfield says. The plant in Sioux Falls is temporarily closed due to a COVID-19 outbreak that has sickened hundreds of employees.
The Martin City plant, which produces spiral and smoked ham, employs more than 400 people.
The company is temporarily closing its Cudahy, Wisconsin plant due to COVID-19 outbreaks in nearby communities. Smithfield says a “small number” of employees there have been diagnosed with the disease.
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