Harmony Beef, an Alberta packing plant had to halt cattle slaughter on Friday after the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) pulled its inspectors due to a plant employee testing positive for COVID-19.
Alberta health department officials informed Harmony last week that an employee who had not been on the job for several days had tested positive. Upon learning of the test results, Harmony sent employees who had worked in the same plant area home for 14 days.
Reports suggested the plant could reopen as soon as Monday. However, the union representing the federal meat inspectors said inspectors would only return if Harmony could assure the Canadian Food Inspection Agency that the plant is safe for operation.
According to reports, the plant can process approximately 750 heard per day.
In separate news, meat packing company Olymel announced March 29 the temporary closure of the hog slaughter and cutting plant in Yamachiche for a period of 14 days due to the growing number of cases of COVID-19 among plant employees, which has reached nine. The temporary closure, which started the day of the announcement, will affect nearly 1,000 employees.