Olymel pork plant shut down due to COVID-19

(Matt Chan, Flickr.com, CC BY-ND 2.0)

Olymel has temporarily closed one of its pork processing plants in Quebec after multiple employees at the facility tested positive for COVID-19.

The large pork production company has decided to close its facility at Yamachiche, Que. for 14 days as of March 29 after nine employees were confirmed to have the virus.

All employees who have worked at the plant since March 12 are to self-isolate and monitor themselves for symptoms. The closure affects approximately 1,000 employees.

Olymel says it will “follow up with its suppliers, particularly the hog farmers who supply the plant, and make the necessary decisions.”

Ontario Pork says it has been in communication with Olymel, as well as national industry partners to determine the impact. The organization says no Ontario pigs are processed at the Yamachiche plant, but “some loads are expected to be delayed or displaced as a result of the closure.”

On Friday, the Harmony Beef plant at Balzac, Alta., was partially closed after an employee tested positive for COVID-19. As of Friday, the company was hoping to reopen fully on Monday, conditional on government inspectors agreeing to provide inspection services.

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