CHICAGO (Reuters) – Smithfield Foods [SFII.UL], a unit of China’s WH Group, will temporarily shut down the world’s largest hog slaughter plant in Tar Heel, North Carolina, as early as Wednesday due to looming Hurricane Florence, a company employee and the head of the North Carolina Park Council said on Tuesday.
The powerful storm was expected to hit North Carolina on Friday. The Smithfield employee, who was not authorized to speak with the media, said the plant that slaughters an estimated 32,000 hogs per day would likely be closed from Wednesday through Saturday.
Andy Curliss, chief executive of the North Carolina Pork Council, said the facility would likely shut down on Thursday and Friday. Smithfield did not respond to requests for comment.
(Reporting by Michael Hirtzer, P.J. Huffstutter, Karl Plume and Tom Polansek; Editing by James Dalgleish)