June 11, 2020
BRF SA closes largest meat plant for COVID-19 testing
Since last Friday, food processor BRF SA has closed its largest plant in Brazil as it tested 8,600 of its workforce for the new coronavirus, the company stated on Wednesday, Reuters reported.
BRF did not provide a timeline for the reopening of the Rio Verde facility located in Goiás state, which processes pork and chicken.
The company said it tested all employees at the facility between June 5 and June 6, and that 32% of the results are available. BRF did not reveal whether any workers at the plant tested positive for the virus, which causes the sometimes deadly COVID-19 illness.
A representative of the labour prosecutor's office told Reuters by telephone 480 of the applied tests had been processed, with 262 employees at the BRF plant testing positive for the virus.
BRF did not have an immediate comment on the results it received.
The labour prosecutor's office said BRF used Polymerase chain reaction (PCR) tests on the workforce, and after a high rate of infections, the company voluntarily closed the plant and decided to retest employees.
BRF had said earlier in the day that starting on Wednesday it would conduct additional testing in groups of employees in a bid to reopen the massive plant under the safest possible conditions, but did not elaborate on the reasons.
Brazil has emerged as the latest pandemic epicentre with more than 743,000 confirmed COVID-19 cases-second only to the US-and more than 38,500 related deaths reported.