Maple Leaf Foods has announced that it is suspending operations in its Poultry plant in Brampton, Ontario, as three employees have tested positive for COVID-19.
Maple Leafs Foods said that the cases have occurred with people working at that facility and hence the decision was made to shut down the facility, pending a full risk assessment. The company is proactively deep cleaning the plant including common areas and offices while the investigation is in process.
An employee of Heritage plant in Hamilton, Ontario also tested positive for COVID-19. According to the news release, the affected employee had not been present at the plant for two weeks before the diagnosis. The Hamilton plant is fully operating after thorough sanitation.
Maple Leafs Foods said that in addition to the normal, thorough daily sanitation in its plants and the use of the standard Personal Protective Equipment that helps ensure food safety and protects the health of our people, the company is taking additional steps, including:
- Increased, frequent sanitation of all common areas like breakrooms, washrooms, locker rooms and cafeterias
- Careful social distancing through increased spacing on production lines where possible
- Staggered breaks and shifts to prevent groups from forming
- Conversion of offices to break rooms and the use of trailers to decrease the density of our people during breaks
- Phasing in of temperature screening of all front-line employees as we receive temperature scanners at all our sites
Maple Leafs Food is working with Canadian Food Inspection Agency officials and the Public Health Departments throughout Canada to ensure that they are doing everything possible to ensure the safety of Canadians.
Government experts in Canada and the U.S. have made it clear that COVID-19 is not a foodborne illness. There is currently no evidence that food is a likely source or route of transmission of COVID-19.