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August 7, 2020

Irish meat group O’Brien Fine Foods halts plant after Covid-19 cases

An Ireland-based meat processor has stopped processing operations at a factory where dozens of staff have tested positive for Covid-19.

By Dean Best

Ireland-based meat group O’Brien Fine Foods has stopped processing operations at a factory where dozens of staff have tested positive for Covid-19.

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Some 80 employees at the plant in Timahoe in central Ireland have been infected following a “sudden spike” that was “difficult to comprehend,” according to a spokesperson.

“Of 243 tests completed, 80 have been confirmed as positive for Covid-19. Of the 80 confirmed, the level of asymptomatic infectivity appears to be very high. We are completing testing of a further 42 employees today,” the spokesperson said.

In May, O’Brien Fine Foods had what it describes as two “isolated cases” of infection among staff, separate incidents where one employee was believed to have been in close contact with a confirmed case outside of work, with another remote employee believed to have been in contact with a healthcare worker.

The current outbreak looks to have been sparked by another case on 30 July. O’Brien Fine Foods says it decided two days ago to test all staff after talks with government health officials.

“The decision to suspend all processing operations is a precautionary measure,” the spokesperson said. “Following consultation with the HSE [public agency Health Service Executive], our warehousing facility will operate at minimum staffing and capacity levels. A further comprehensive deep clean of the facility is underway and a full risk assessment process has commenced in the interest of employee and public health.”

O’Brien Fine Foods supplies branded and own-label meat products. The company’s brands include Brady Family ham and Homebird chicken. The group’s customers include Lidl and Dunnes Stores.

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Free Whitepaper
img

What is the impact of China’s Zero-COVID lockdowns on economic activity, consumer goods and the foodservice industry?

While wanting to protect the country from being overwhelmed by Omicron, China’s adherence to a Zero-COVID policy is resulting in a significant economic downturn. COVID outbreaks in Shanghai, Beijing and many other Chinese cities will impact 2022’s economic growth as consumers and businesses experience rolling lockdowns, leading to a slowdown in domestic and international supply chains. China’s Zero-COVID policy is having a demonstrable impact on consumer-facing industries. Access GlobalData’s new whitepaper, China in 2022: the impact of China’s Zero-COVID lockdowns on economic activity, consumer goods and the foodservice industry, to examine the current situation in Shanghai and other cities in China, to better understand the worst-affected industry sectors, foodservice in particular, and to explore potential growth opportunities as China recovers. The white paper covers:
  • Which multinational companies have been affected?
  • What is the effect of lockdowns on foodservice?
  • What is the effect of lockdowns on Chinese ports?
  • Spotlight on Shanghai: what is the situation there?
  • How have Chinese consumers reacted?
  • How might the Chinese government react?
  • What are the potential growth opportunities?
by GlobalData
Enter your details here to receive your free Whitepaper.

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