SMITHFIELD, Va. – The show will go on, just not at the oldest ham smokehouse in Smithfield, Virginia. Smithfield Foods announced plans to close the smokehouse that produces its country hams, which are aged, smoked and dry-cured.

The company decided to close the building and evaluate the best site to continue production of country hams. In response to what it called “sensationalized and exaggerated” media reports, Smithfield made it clear that it has no intention of ceasing production of country hams.

“Consumers needn’t worry: we have plenty of Genuine Smithfield Hams in inventory,” said Keira Lombardo, senior vice president of corporate affairs. “This affords us the opportunity to assess alternatives for the production of our genuine Smithfield Ham while continuing to supply this product to our loyal consumers.

“In addition, our smokehouse employees have been relocated to another facility on our Smithfield, Virginia, campus,” she added.