GUELPH, ONTARIO – Cargill announced that it resumed operations at its beef processing facility in Guelph. The company temporarily halted production on Dec. 17 after 82 employees tested positive for the coronavirus (COVID-19).
Cargill said it will resume harvest shifts incrementally on Dec. 29-30 and will work toward full capacity. The company said it will work toward fabrication shifts on Jan. 2.
“In addition to safety measures, we implemented at our facilities months ago, we have taken time during the idle to conduct a full, deep-clean of the facility as an additional step to respond to the community-wide impacts of the virus,” said Daniel Sullivan, director of corporate communications for Cargill. “We want to emphasize that employees should be healthy and not have had contact with anyone with the COVID-19 virus for 14 days before returning to work.”
As of Dec. 17, 129 people were self-isolating – some were positive for the virus, others had come in close contact with infected individuals. Wellington-Dufferin-Guelph Public Health recommended self-isolation as a precaution.
Cargill continued to work closely with the local health officials on mitigation measures over the last few months including temperature testing, enhanced cleaning and sanitizing, face coverings, screening between employee stations, prohibiting visitors, adopting social distancing practices where possible, offering staggered breaks and reducing carpooling. The company plans to keep these protocols in place when fully operational.
“We are grateful for our team’s dedication and resilience as our facility and community walks through this pandemic together,” Cargill said. “We are poignantly aware that being an essential worker is not easy. We are grateful to the local businesses and community members who are showing our team care and support during this challenging time. Our focus now is on keeping people healthy and delivering safe food to people across Canada.”