November 10, 2011 / 3:24 PM / 6 years ago

Fire hampers production at Maple Leaf Foods plant

WINNIPEG, Manitoba (Reuters) - A fire on Wednesday evening at Maple Leaf Foods’ (MFI.TO) Winnipeg meat-processing plant has idled production of prepared meats for at least a day, the company said on Thursday.

Production at the facility’s ham-boning section will continue as scheduled, said Lynda Kuhn, senior vice-president of communications at Maple Leaf, one of Canada’s biggest meat packers and bakers.

The company does not know how long production of prepared meats will be halted, as firefighters investigate the fire’s cause, Kuhn said.

The fire led to water and smoke damage at the plant, but no workers were hurt. The company does not yet have an estimate of damage.

The Winnipeg facility is one of three in Canada that Maple Leaf plans to expand, while shutting down six others by the end of 2014.

Maple Leaf shares rose 8 Canadian cents, or 0.7 percent, to C$11.25 in early trading in Toronto.

($1=$1.02 Canadian)

Reporting by Rod Nickel; editing by Peter Galloway

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