Smithfield Foods, Inc. on Sunday reaffirmed that there is no evidence of the presence of A(H1N1) influenza in any of the company's swine herds or in its employees at any of its worldwide operations.
The company issued this statement following the announcement by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) that officials have tentatively confirmed that swine from a herd in Alberta, Canada, have tested positive for H1N1. Further tests are underway to determine whether the virus in these animals is the A(H1N1) virus which is currently causing illness in humans. The company further noted that the Canadian report stated that Canadian health authorities believe that the swine herd may have contracted the H1N1 virus from contact with a worker at that farm.
In any case, Smithfield does not own or operate hog farms or pork processing plants in Canada, nor does it process Canadian raised hogs at any of the company's U.S. plants.
The company stressed that this is not a foodborne illness and the American food supply is safe and pork and pork products are safe.
With sales of $12 billion, Smithfield Foods is the leading processor and marketer of fresh pork and packaged meats in the United States, as well as the largest producer of hogs. For more information, visit www.smithfieldfoods.com.
Source: Smithfield Foods, Inc.