As planned, Cargill has begun the “measured” re-opening of its Better Beef plant at Guelph, Ont.

The plant originally closed December 17, 2020, due to over 60 positive COVID-19 cases within its workforce, and increasing community cases.

A spokesperson for Cargill says that the plant has begun the process of re-opening as of December 29th, and will continue to work towards full capacity over the next few weeks. After taking New Years Day off, fabrication shifts will resume on Saturday, January 2, 2021.

The plant has a maximum capacity of processing 1,900 head of cattle per week.

Cargill says it is working in collaboration with Wellington-Dufferin-Guelph Public Health, and its union partners through the re-opening process.

“The health and safety of our employees continue to be our top priority,” the company says. “In addition to safety measures we implemented at our facilities months ago, we have taken time during the idle to conduct a full, deep-clean of the facility as an additional step to respond to the community-wide impacts of the virus.”

It’s unknown exactly when the plant will return to full capacity, as employees must be healthy and not had contact with anyone with the COVID-19 virus for 14 day before returning to work.

“We are grateful for our team’s dedication and resilience as our facility and community walks through this pandemic together. We are poignantly aware that being an essential worker is not easy. We care about our employees and this community. Our thoughts are with our friends and colleagues who have been impacted by the virus. We are grateful to the local businesses and community members who are showing our team care and support during this challenging time. Our focus now is on keeping people healthy and delivering safe food to people across Canada,” the company says.

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