Company investigating three COVID-19 cases and deep cleaning plant before reopening.

Krissa Welshans, Livestock Editor

April 9, 2020

2 Min Read
Maple Leaf Foods logo.jpg
Maple Leaf Foods

Maple Leaf Foods announced April 8 that it has suspended operations in its Brampton Poultry plant in Brampton, Ont. The decision was made “out of an abundance of caution” while the company completes an investigation into three COVID-19 cases that have occurred with people working at the facility.

“Our first priority is to keep our people safe, so the decision was made to shut down the facility, pending a full risk assessment,” said Michael McCain, president and chief executive officer of Maple Leaf Foods. “While we complete the investigation, we are deep cleaning the plant including common areas and offices. Our goal is to complete the investigation and the deep cleaning as quickly as reasonably possible. We will not begin operating again until we are confident that it is safe to return to work.”

An additional COVID-19 case occurred in a team member at the company's Heritage plant in Hamilton, Ont. However, the company reported that the affected team member had not been present at the plant for two weeks before the diagnosis. Maple Leaf Foods completed thorough sanitation at Heritage and said the plant is fully operational.

“This is truly an unprecedented period for our company and the entire food industry,” McCain said. “Maple Leaf Foods takes our responsibility to feed people seriously every day of the year. You have my personal assurance that we stand with our 13,000 team members and with our customers in getting through this difficult crisis."

The company said it is taking several steps to protect its employees, including daily sanitation in plants and the use of standard personal protective equipment that helps ensure food safety and protects the health of employees.

“This is a very fluid situation, and our teams are working very closely within our network as well as with our supply chain and logistics partners so that we can continue to deliver safe food at this critical time, McCain noted.

About the Author(s)

Krissa Welshans

Livestock Editor

Krissa Welshans grew up on a crop farm and cow-calf operation in Marlette, Michigan. Welshans earned a bachelor’s degree in animal science from Michigan State University and master’s degree in public policy from New England College. She and her husband Brock run a show cattle operation in Henrietta, Texas, where they reside with their son, Wynn.

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