Production halted at Kilbeggan meat plant
Dawn Meats has deferred production at its Kilbeggan facility “following four confirmed cases of Covid-19 amongst workers,” the company has confirmed.
The action to shut down production at the plant has been taken “out of an abundance of caution,” the meat firm said in a statement today.
“Dawn Meats takes the health, safety and welfare of employees, suppliers, contractors and visitors extremely seriously. We have implemented a detailed series of measures to manage risks associated with Covid-19, and to maintain social distancing in our facilities in line with procedures recommended by the HSE and other Government agencies.
“When we became aware of four confirmed cases of Covid-19 amongst workers in Kilbeggan we decided to defer production in the plant yesterday,” the company said.
“The cases reflect less than 2% of staff at the plant, however the decision was taken out an abundance of caution whilst we review the situation. No production was scheduled today or over the Bank Holiday Weekend, and no decision has yet been taken with regards to deferring any scheduled activity next week.”
The issue of Covid-19 clusters in meat processing factories was confirmed by Minister Michael Creed in the Dáil yesterday.
The Minister for Agriculture Michael Creed last night said that his department was aware of six so-called clusters in meat plants, including one boning hall.
There were also claims in the Dail that another company had 120 confirmed cases of the virus but was still operating.
Sinn Féin's Spokesperson on Agriculture Brian Stanley claimed that the first cases emerged at the facility a month ago. He said employees were concerned about social distancing at that plant and others.
Dawn Meats stressed on Friday morning that the decision to halt production will have no impact on our ability to supply customers or receive cattle from farmers throughout our network of plants in the country.
Separately, the Irish Times is reporting that Kepak has confirmed that a number of employees are self-isolating in line with Government guidance on controlling the spread of Covid-19.
All of its sites are operational albeit at lower levels than normal.