ABP Group have confirmed that 22 members of its staff at one of their meat processing plants in Tipperary have tested positive for Covid-19, as well as 16 close contacts of those staff members.
Larry Goodman’s company confirmed the cases on Wednesday morning, which are in addition to the nine confirmed cases at the plant last Friday. A total of 460 staff at the Cahir facility have been tested following on from the first confirmed case which was detected last week.
The plant, one of ?, is running at limited capacity at present. There were 92 new cases of Covid-19 detected in the country yesterday, with the Department of Health confirming that 31 of those were in Tipperary alone.
In a statement, ABP Group said, “The tests were carried out after consultation with the HSE and with their full approval and guidance. In line with Covid-19 protocols, all close contacts of those impacted are currently self-isolating.
Testing of close contacts of positive cases at the plant by the HSE has identified an additional 16 cases.
“Staff safety and public health is our priority”, the statement read, and ABP say they will continue to work “proactively and take guidance from both the HSE and the HSA.”
There were also two positive cases uncovered at the ABP Group plant in Clones, Monaghan last week. ABP Group is headquarted in Ardee, county Louth and it’s founder Larry Goodman resides in nearby Castlebellingham.
Back in March, at the onset of the pandemic in Ireland, around 80 employees at the ABP plant in Lurgan refused to work over fears for their safety in regards to Cpvid-19.
The workers in question demanded adequate social distancing of two metres be facilitated and enforced, as well as a number of other measures. These included having deep-cleans conducted on work stations where other workers have self-isolated with coronavirus symptoms.
In a statement released to LouthNow.ie, a spokesperson for ABP Group, which said at the time that measures had been introduced in recent weeks to help stem the tide of Covid-19. ‘The safety and wellbeing of colleagues is paramount and the company has introduced a variety of additional measures at all sites in recent weeks in response to Covid-19,’ the statement read.
‘These measures include protocols around essential visitors, temperature checking, additional sanitising stations, staggered breaks, additional canteen spaces and many other robust protocols that are in place in food manufacturing facilities. The company is taking guidance from the relevant public health authorities and is continually reviewing the situation and taking additional steps where necessary.’
There are six ABP meat processing plants in the Republic of Ireland, with a further two in Newry and Lurgan, Armagh.