Offaly meat factory staying open despite four positive Covid-19 cases

The company has released a statement

Justin Kelly

Reporter:

Justin Kelly

Email:

justin.kelly@iconicnews.ie

Offaly meat factory staying open despite four positive Covid-19 cases

Offaly meat factory staying open despite four positive Covid-19 cases

Rosderra Irish Meats is continuing to operate in Clara, Co Offaly, despite four staff members testing positive for Covid-19.

The test results were returned over the weekend but the company, which also runs factories in Roscrea and Edenderry, has said it "continues to work closely with the HSE, HSA, DAFM and Occupational Health Professionals in continuing to implement our significant COVID-19 control measures in order that transmission of Covid-19 is minimised."

In a statement, Rosderra Irish Meats said: "The National Public Health Emergency Team (NPHET) has introduced a programme of weekly testing for staff working in food processing settings and following a full site test carried out at the Rosderra Irish Meats – Clara site on Friday, August 21, as part of that programme, four staff have tested positive for Covid-19 of a total of 68 staff tested.

"The company, working proactively with the HSE and Occupational Health Professionals to break the chain of transmission, has advised those staff and their contacts to self-isolate in accordance with HSE guidelines and work continues on identifying the source of transmission."

Rosderra also confirmed that no member of their 400-strong staff at their Edenderry plant tested positive under the same regime of testing.

"The safety and welfare of our employees is paramount and we continue to be extremely vigilant with our protective measures for infection control - including supervised distancing, mandatory face coverings for all employees on all sites, daily temperature testing and a staggered approach to start times, greatly reducing the possibility of gatherings. A regular and open communication programme is in place with all employees – highlighting each step of our precautionary measures, in-line with HSE guidelines," the company said.

"All communications and briefings to staff take place in the relevant languages and all employees are informed NOT to come to work when feeling ill or experiencing Covid-19 symptoms. Visual aids are regularly updated in accordance with HSE recommendations and are again translated to accommodate all languages.

"From week commencing March 16, we instituted temperature screening which included completion of a symptom interview-questionnaire for all staff and essential visitors entering our sites and have followed the advice of our Occupational Health Professionals."

In addition, Rosderaa has:

• Introduced additional PPE – masks and eye protection.

• Extended and reorganised canteens to facilitate adequate social distancing at break-times and in changing rooms.

• Increased our hand sanitising stations – which was already at an extremely high level.

• Reconfigured our operations to facilitate social distancing or partitioned workspaces.

• Staff working from home where possible.

• Trained and briefed all staff in their relevant languages on Covid-19 related issues.

• Engaged with the HSE to co-ordinate full site testing.

• Broadened the scope of the Company Employee Assistance Programme to deal with issues arising from COVID-19.

"Rosderra Irish Meats have proactively adapted to the changing Covid-19 environment, to protect the safety of our employees and have followed HSE advice and guidelines in the co-ordinated testing process. We continue to work with DAFM, Unions, HSE, HAS, Occupational Health Practitioners, Farm Suppliers, all Suppliers and Customers to keep our employees safe and healthy, while delivering much-needed food to consumers."