March 27, 2018 / 3:30 PM / a year ago

UPDATE 1-Brazil's BRF sends around 3,000 workers on 30-day paid leave

(Adds share performance, details from a subsequent statement)

SAO PAULO, March 27 (Reuters) - BRF SA, Brazil’s largest chicken processor, said on Tuesday the company will send around 3,000 workers on a 30-day paid leave “due to the need to adjust production planning.”

The decision to send workers on leave at its Capinzal, Santa Catarina-based plant came as BRF deals with the fallout from a food safety investigation into whether its top managers colluded to evade food safety checks.

The measure will take effect on May 7, according a statement.

BRF shares fell more than 1 percent to 22.95 reais in late morning trading after the announcement.

The company, which processes 7 million birds per day, said only workers involved in chicken processing will be affected by the measure at Capinzal. It declined to say how many birds are slaughtered at that plant or how much of its production is destined to export markets.

Earlier in March more than 1,000 BRF workers were placed on leave at its Mineiros plant, one of the units involved in the food safety investigation.

BRF said there was “no information available” regarding the possibility of adjusting production at any other units.

The Brazilian Agriculture Ministry also temporarily interrupted production and certification of BRF’s poultry exports to the European Union this month. (Reporting by Ana Mano Editing by Jeffrey Benkoe and Marguerita Choy)

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