SMITHFIELD, Va. – On March 26, Smithfield Foods Inc. plans to close a Smithfield, Va., plant that produces barbecued ribs, stews and soups, laying off 53 workers, according to

“This facility is not capable of meeting the company’s future business needs,” explained Jeff Gough, Smithfield’s vice president for human resources.

All products made at that plant will be manufactured at other Smithfield food facilities or will be outsourced to other companies, Gough said.

Affected employees would be eligible to apply for other openings at the company, including those in the area. Smithfield and the Laborers’ International Union of North America are negotiating the effects of the closing.

On Jan. 28, Smithfield announced the sale of its hog production operations located in Texhoma, Oklahoma to Prestage Farms, Inc.