In numbers: An overview of Covid-19 in Ireland’s meat factories

At a glance overview of the past week's major news concerning meat plants in the midlands



11 August 2020

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4 of the affected plants – O’Brien Fine Foods, Kildare Chilling, and Irish Dog Foods, and finally, Carroll Cuisine – have temporarily suspended operations

2 weeks of regional inspections were announced by the government on Friday to prevent further transmission

9 confirmed cases among employees at Carroll Cuisine in Tullamore, Co. Offaly – with the first case confirmed on 31 July, according to Kieran Carolan, chief executive

150+ confirmed cases at Kildare Chilling in Kildare town

86 confirmed cases at O’Brien Fine Foods in Timahoe, Co. Laois

50+ confirmed cases at Irish Dog Foods in Naas, Co. Kildare

300+ cases of Covid-19 identified at meat plants in the midlands region in recent weeks

23 June: The date when Greg Ennis of trade union Siptu said they predicted an outbreak would happen “and we were right because the meat industry is the perfect vector for the spread of Covid”

25 July: The date when Irish Dog Foods closed “following an outbreak of Coronavirus in the factory. We have worked closely with the HSE and followed their advice at all times,” a spokesperson said

Days 7 and 14: According to O’Brien Fine Foods: “In line with public health guidance, in addition to testing undertaken to date, a further programme of employee testing will be conducted on days 7 and 14 (as necessary).” A spokesperson added: “Only those employees who test negative and meet public health guidelines in full will return to work. All staff will continue to be paid in full.”

“Over 10% of workers” in the sector have been infected by Covid-19 and “9 out of 10 do not have a sick pay scheme”, Siptu’s Greg Ennis has claimed

570 inspectors carried out a total of 230 inspections of businesses in July: Sinn Féin’s Health spokesperson David Cullinane said that he had figures from the HSA that showed this was the case.  He said this equates to 1 inspection for every 2 inspectors, which is not sufficient

8 improvement and 9 prohibition notices were issued as a result of these inspections, according to David Cullinane








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