Maple Leaf Foods is suspending operations at its poultry plant in Brampton, Ont. “out of an abundance of caution” says Michael McCain, president and CEO after three employees at the facility tested positive for the COVID-19 virus.
"As a major food company in an essential industry, Maple Leaf Foods is doing everything possible to protect the health of our 13,000 team members while producing the food our customers in North America and Asia need now more than ever.”
McCain says the company has suspended operations while it completes an investigation into the cases and ramps up deep cleaning of the entire facility.
He states Maple Leaf Foods will not begin operations again “until we are confident that it is safe to return to work.”
And while it is dealing with the three cases at its Brampton plant, the company has announced that another worker at its Heritage plant in Hamilton, Ont. has tested positive.
McCain says the company is taking additional steps to protect employees.
“We are closely coordinating with Canadian Food Inspection Agency officials and the Public Health Departments throughout Canada to ensure that we are doing everything possible to ensure the safety of our people. Government experts in Canada and the U.S. have made it clear that COVID-19 is not a foodborne illness and there is currently no evidence that food is a likely source or route of transmission of COVID-19. 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.
“This is truly an unprecedented period for our company and the entire food industry. 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."