US meat giant Tyson Foods has confirmed it is to permanently close a pork plant in Columbia, South Carolina.

Some 150 employees are impacted by the decision.

The company, which has faced a number temporary closures due to Covid-19 outbreaks among its workforce, said the decision is nothing to do with the virus.

A Tyson spokesperson said: “After much consideration and as part of ongoing efforts to increase efficiency in our business, we plan to discontinue operations at our Columbia, South Carolina plant in mid-August. We’ve made this very difficult decision in order to continue focusing on and investing in strategic growth priorities.

“We intend to cooperate with state officials to ensure the employees affected by the closure are informed about unemployment benefits and any potential opportunities within Tyson Foods.”

The plant processes pork for taco fillings and pizza toppings.

Tyson has not said where this production will now be carried out.