Market News & Headlines >> Largest Smithfield Pork Plant Temporarily Down

Smithfield Foods will resume partial operations at its Tar Heel, North Carolina, packing plant on Wednesday after shoring up part of the roof that gave way on Monday, a company spokeswoman told Reuters News Service.

Maintenance crews are investigating and repairing a roof beam that had separated over part of the plant. Partial operations are expected to resume on Wednesday and the plant should be fully operational on Thursday, said Smithfield's director of corporate communications, Kathleen Kirkham.

Employees were sent home on Monday to ensure their safety, said Kirkham, adding that nearby Smithfield plants, including Tar Heel when it becomes fully operational, are running additional shifts to make up for production losses.

The Tar Heel plant is the largest packing plant in the world, with estimated slaughter capacity of more than 34,000 head per day. Smithfield is a wholly owned subsidiary of China-based pork processor WH Group Ltd, which acquired it for nearly $5 billion in 2013.