SMITHFIELD, VA (WAVY/CNN) - A worker at a meat processing plant who was caught on tape urinating while working on the production line has cost his company potentially hundreds of thousands of dollars.
The incident was captured on camera last weekend, and brought production at the world’s largest pork processing plant to a grinding halt.
The video, of the production line inside Smithfield Foods. shows employee taking off his gloves and relieving himself under the production line.
He then put his gloves back on and continued to work.
Smithfield Foods officials confirmed that the employee was urinating on the line.
They said there was a swift internal investigation and production was immediately stopped. More than 50,000 pounds of product had to be thrown away.
Given the average size of hogs the company slaughters, 50,000 pounds would equal roughly 350 hogs, which could have cost the company $190,000.
Officials said the processing line was fully cleaned and all the equipment was sterilized multiple times before operations resumed.
“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,” Lisa Martin, a spokesperson, told WAVY. “The safety and quality of our foods is fundamental to our success as a company.”
The employee from the video has been suspended while the company investigates.
The USDA Food Safety and Inspection Service is also looking into what happened.
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