Cowen calls for action as Covid-19 'hotbed' discovered in meat factories
Fianna Fáil TD for Offaly Barry Cowen has said there needs to be a sector-specific regime of protocols put in place in meat factories across the country as they have become the new hotbed of Covid-19 cases.
Deputy Cowen also called for the continued widespread testing of meat factory workers and urged quicker turnaround times to ensure the health and safety of workers.
He was speaking as 60 cases of Covid-19 were confirmed in Rosderra Meats in Edenderry and said, “Firstly I wish all of these people well and I hope they make a speedy recovery from this awful virus. I can only imagine their worry and that of their families.
“Last week I called for the Department of Health and the Department of Agriculture to conduct independent verification of meat factories to ensure that all procedures and processes are meeting public health guidelines.
“At this stage, we need to go further and put in place a full range of sector-specific protocols. It is clear there is a full-blown crisis in our meat factories and workers' safety must be paramount. It is not good enough to simply test workers and then allow them back to work while they wait for their results. We need turnaround times to improve vastly as part of any plan to keep plans operating fully.
“I understand maintaining our food supply chains is an essential service, but the health and concerns of employees must be to the forefront of these protocols,” concluded Deputy Cowen.