Kildare factory suspends operations following 80 confirmed Covid-19 cases

Acting chief medical officer Dr Ronan Glynn speaking in the Department of Health at the COVID-19 HSE briefing yesterday evening at the Department of Health, Dublin (Photo: Sam Boal/Rollingnews.ie)

Company says "sudden spike is difficult to comprehend" with a high number of cases said to be asymptomatic

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7 August 2020 | 0

AT A GLANCE: TIMELINE OF CASES

  • 15 May: one isolated case confirmed (employee believed to have been in close contact with a confirmed case outside of work)
  • 22 May: one isolated case confirmed (remote employee believed to have been in close contact with a healthcare worker)
  • 30 July: one case confirmed
  • 1 August: company seeks specific public health advice from the HSE and decision taken to test all staff
  • 5 August: 80 confirmed cases

Following 80 confirmed cases of Covid-19 at O’Brien Fine Foods’ Timahoe, Co. Kildare facility, the company confirmed it had suspended all processing operations since 9pm on Wednesday, 5 August.

In a press statement, the business said the “sudden spike is difficult to comprehend” considering the level of “rigour and our comparatively low level of confirmed cases up to this point”.

O’Brien Fine Foods said that since February, it has operated with an “abundance of caution and safety” with “a rigorous health and safety policy”. This includes “working from home for all non-operations staff, mandatory PPE, Perspex screens, staggered shift and break times, restricted visitor to site policy, daily temperature checking, changing work practices, communications in five languages, and intensive cleaning and sanitisation procedures – additional cleaning personnel were contracted on site”.

The business added that it was also “fully audited by the relevant inspectors during this time with no issues identified”.

O’Brien Fine Foods’ full statement is available online at the company’s website here.


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