May 21, 2020 / 8:22 PM / 4 days ago

JBS resumes chicken slaughtering at Brazil plant after COVID-19 outbreak: statement

FILE PHOTO: The logo of Brazilian meatpacker JBS SA is seen in the city of Jundiai, Brazil June 1, 2017. REUTERS/Paulo Whitaker

SAO PAULO (Reuters) - Brazilian meatpacker JBS SA (JBSS3.SA) said on Thursday that operations at its plant in Passo Fundo, in the southern state of Rio Grande do Sul, were allowed to resume after the facility was closed by authorities due to an outbreak of the novel coronavirus.

Slaughtering resumed on Wednesday at the plant that has the capacity to process 320,000 birds per day, the company said in a statement sent to Reuters. It had been closed since April 24.

The company said it has “promoted a rigorous screening process to certify that only employees in good health returned to work.”

The company’s protocol does not involve testing of employees for the COVID-19 respiratory illness, a spokeswoman said.

At that facility alone, JBS employs more than 2,600 people, in addition to 600 integrated producers, the statement said. The Passo Fundo unit has operated for more than 35 years in the region, JBS said.

Reporting by Ana Mano; Editing by Sonya Hepinstall

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