Meat plant to remain closed as dozens of workers test positive 

O'Brien's Fine Foods at Timahoe halted production last week after dozens of workers tested positive for coronavirus
Meat plant to remain closed as dozens of workers test positive 

O'Brien's Fine Foods at Timahoe halted production last week after dozens of workers tested positive for coronavirus. Picture Colin Keegan

A meat processing plant in Co Kildare is to remain closed for two weeks.

O'Brien's Fine Foods at Timahoe halted production last week after dozens of workers tested positive for coronavirus.

It was announced on Friday night that Kildare, along with counties Laois and Offaly, will face further lockdown restrictions for the next fortnight following a spate of cases.

O'Briens Fine Foods said that in line with public health guidance, normal operations at its Timahoe plant will not resume for the 14-day incubation period.

It stopped production on Wednesday night after a number of workers tested positive.

The statement said: "In consultation with the HSE, our warehousing facility and minimal related operations will function at significantly reduced capacity levels to manage perishable goods.

"In line with public health guidance, in addition to testing undertaken to date, a further programme of employee testing will be conducted on days seven and 14 (as necessary). Only those employees who test negative and meet public health guidelines in full will return to work. All staff will continue to be paid in full."

Some 86 workers had tested positive for the virus by Friday.

The company said: "In all cases, the level of asymptomatic infectivity appears to be very high.

"Those who have tested positive have been advised to isolate as per the official guidance. Full risk assessment and contract tracing procedures is continuing. All close contacts of those affected are being notified, advised to self-isolate and to contact their GP."

Kildare Chilling and the Irish Dog Food factory in Naas, have also said they will not be opening in the coming days. 

More in this section