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Tyson Foods idles production at Iowa pork plant after system malfunction

Dec 16 (Reuters) - Tyson Foods Inc said on Wednesday production at a pork plant in Iowa was idled after a mechanical malfunction in its refrigeration system.

Tyson Fresh Meats, the beef and pork subsidiary of Tyson Foods, said no one was hurt from the malfunction at the Columbus Junction, Iowa, pork plant, which occurred Tuesday evening, but operations could remain halted for a few days for repairs.

The facility kills about 10,100 pigs a day, or about 2% of the United State’s total slaughtering capacity, according to industry estimates.

“We’re taking steps to temporarily move production to other plants,” said Steve Stouffer, group president at Tyson Fresh Meats, adding it was too early to provide a definitive timeline for resuming production at the plant.

In April, Tyson Foods closed operations at the plant to contain the rapid spread of the new coronavirus..

Reporting by Shradha Singh in Bengaluru; Editing by Shinjini Ganguli

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