Surveillance cameras reportedly caught what forced Smithfield Foods to discard 50,000 pounds of product: a worker relieving himself on the production line.
The meat-producing behemoth confirmed that the urine-related incident led to its Virginia plant halting production to clean the production line and sanitizing the equipment multiple times before resuming operations. The company has suspended the employee pending a complete investigation, according to Global Meat News.
Footage obtained by WAVY appears to show a worker on the product line take off his gloves, lean towards the conveyor belt, and urinate. Afterward, he appears to put his gloves back on and continue working. The news station reported that a “concerned employee” provided them with the video.
“The facility and its employees’ immediate response and corrective actions to this isolated incident reflect the company’s commitment to ensuring the safety and quality of its products,” a Smithfield Foods spokesperson said. “The safety and quality of our foods is fundamental to our success as a company.”
The news station indicated that the Virginia plant processes pork and estimated that, given the size of the hogs it typically slaughters, 50,000 pounds would equal about 350 hogs. It estimated that last weekend’s incident cost Smithfield Foods approximately $190,000.
The USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service said it’s investigating the incident to determine whether any further action is necessary.
[Featured image: WAVY video screengrab]