An independent TD says the fundamental problems in the meat-processing sector must be solved in the light of the coronavirus epidemic.
It tested positive for the virus after 60 workers at a meat factory in Edandry, Co-op.
Rosedera Meets says it has introduced significant COVID-19 controls.
Denmark Notten Newstalt, TD of Roscommon-Galway, told Breakfast that more work needed to be done.
“I’m monitoring the management of the infection in the meat factories and I fear that if it repeats itself in the economy next week, we will be looking at a second wave of infection.”
“The problem is that our country now has several meat factories all over the country
Some of them have infections that affect one-third to one-half of workers who test positive for Covid-19.
“So it is clear that the current protection in meat factories is not working.”
An average of five veterinary and technical staff are employed who are responsible for the supervision and control of each meat factory in the Ministry.
“And yet in a sector that is so regulated, we have a situation where we have infected clusters by about half the staff,” Vice-Nutress said.
“I think it’s a combination of things: I think there’s a lack of information – whether it’s for the employer or the employee, but the information is distributed.
“However … the first contamination occurred about six weeks before the stuffing screen was taken to that meat factory.”
“We have seen what happened in the United States and elsewhere: the meat industry has become a source of infection, a source of clusters.
So it turns out that we haven’t learned from the mistakes we’ve made in terms of management delays in nursing homes: now the same thing seems to be happening in the meat industry.
“I’m afraid it will happen again next week. We could be in big trouble.”