Meat Industry Ireland (MII), the body which represents processors, met with Government departments, acting chief medical officer Ronan Glynn and trade union representatives yesterday to review COVID-19 proposals in factories.
The meetings came after an outbreak of coronavirus at an MII member plant earlier this week.
Along with reviewing existing protocols, possible additional actions that could be undertaken were also discussed.
An MII spokesperson said: “Speed of testing results and the track and trace process are critical, as is continuous clear communications with staff around all aspects of dealing with the COVID threat.”
MII strongly refuted criticisms factories have faced in recent days, saying the outbreak was the first since late June.
“It is clear once again from this outbreak, that a very high proportion of positive cases were asymptomatic, meaning that employees, contrary to what has been alleged in some quarters, did not display any of the known symptoms of the virus, were not feeling unwell and were not failing to report symptoms.
“To suggest otherwise is completely inaccurate,” the spokesperson said.
MII said robust protocols, fully in line with specific Health Service Executive (HSE) guidance, were in place across all plants. These were constantly monitored by the Department of Agriculture as well as ongoing Health and Safety Authority (HSA) inspections, it said.
“MII member companies continue to be vigilant in their response to COVID-19, recognising that the interaction between community and workplace poses particular risks that are difficult to control.
“Member companies will continue to work with the HSE and other agencies and will be guided by their advice,” the spokesperson concluded.
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