SMITHFIELD, Va. – A Smithfield Foods official confirmed an explosion occurred on July 30 at the company’s Farmland Foods processing plant in Martin City, Mo., sending three employees to a local hospital. The explosion was reported in a smokehouse at Farmland’s Cook’s Ham plant, which produces spiral-sliced hams and employs approximately 525 people.

In an e-mail sent to, Keira Lombardo, vice president of investor relations and corporate communications said the plant was evacuated and three employees were transported to the hospital for observation as a precautionary measure.

“Farmland Foods is working with local officials to assess the cause of the explosion, as well as the extent of the damages,” Lombardo wrote.