Maple Leaf suspending pork exports to China over COVID-19 cases in Brandon and Lethbridge

Maple Leaf Foods is temporarily suspending the exports of pork products to China after dozens of workers at the company’s plant in Brandon, Man., and one at the Lethbridge, Alta., plant tested positive for COVID-19, it announced in a release on Wednesday.

The company says it’s doing so because of a Chinese protocol that requires any plant reporting a COVID-19 positive case suspend exports to China temporarily.

“We respect China’s new import protocols for Canadian products and are working cooperatively with Canadian and Chinese authorities to resume exports quickly,” Michael McCain, Maple Leaf’s president and CEO, said in a release.

On Wednesday, the company confirmed there are 60 cases of COVID-19 at the Brandon plant and one at the Lethbridge plant.

Public health officials in Manitoba maintain the Brandon workers contracted the virus outside of the workplace.

The company says it will also give 500,000 free masks to people in Brandon to reduce the spread of the virus.

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