Smithfield idles western Illinois pork plant over virus

Posted at 3:44 PM, Apr 25, 2020
and last updated 2020-04-25 16:44:56-04

MONMOUTH, Ill. (AP) — A western Illinois pork-processing plant is suspending operations after some of its employees contracted COVID-19. Smithfield Foods Inc. announced Friday that it will shutter operations at its Monmouth, Illinois, plant beginning Monday and until further notice.

The Virginia-based company says a “small portion” of the plant’s 1,700 employees tested positive for COVID-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus.

The Monmouth plant represents about 3 percent of U.S. fresh pork supplies and also produces bacon. Employees will be paid during the closure. Smithfield also has closed meatpacking plants in Cudahy, Wisconsin; Martin City, Missouri; and Sioux Falls, South Dakota.