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Conestoga Meats halts hog processing for a week due to COVID-19

[File Photo]

Operations are on hold at the Conestoga Meat Packers plant in Breslau following an outbreak of COVID-19. At least seven employees test positive this week for the virus.

The farmer-owned company, the second-largest pork producer in the province, said today it would not be processing hogs for a week, maintaining some operations with limited staffing.

Earlier this week, the Ontario Ministry of Labour, Training and Skills Development received two complaints about related to COVID-19 measures. The case is currently under investigation. The company said in a statement that Region of Waterloo Public Health “has indicated that our procedures are appropriate and that recent Ministry of Labour investigations related to complaints have resulted in no orders issued.”

The company employs about 1,000 workers, processing some 37,000 hogs each week. Employees who are off due to the pause in operations will be compensated for the time off, it said in a statement. “[T]he farmer-owners and leadership of the company have determined that we will implement further-enhanced health and safety measures and ensure that all existing procedures are fully operational.”

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