May 21, 2020 / 9:03 PM / 16 days ago

Marfrig, Minerva's Brazil cattle processing plants operational despite COVID-19 cases

SAO PAULO (Reuters) - Brazilian meat producers Marfrig Global Foods (MRFG3.SA) and Minerva SA (BEEF3.SA) have registered coronavirus cases among workers in cattle processing plants this week but the units are still operational, the companies said.

Marfrig said 14 workers tested positive for the virus in its unit in Varzea Grande, in the state of Mato Grosso. Minerva said it tested all its 730 workers in the city of Araguaina, in the state of Tocantins, which is in lockdown. Fifty-five workers tested positive, although they were asymptomatic.

So far, there have outbreaks in chicken and pork processing plants of JBS SA (JBSS3.SA) and BRF SA (BRFS3.SA) in Brazil’s south, and some of the plants have been through temporary shutdowns.

Marfrig and Minerva said all workers who tested positive, along with people who had come into contact with them, had been isolated. Marfrig said it disinfected its unit. Minerva reduced production in its Araguaina unit, but did not say whether it was disinfected.

Reporting by Nayara Figueiredo, Writing by Tatiana Bautzer; Editing by Tom Brown

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