Almost a third of staff working for Brady’s Ham plant in Timahoe, Co Kildare, after an outbreak of Covid-19 infected at least 80 employees, with tests being carried out on dozens more workers, according to a report in the Irish Times.
Production has been shut down at the family-run plant, where mass testing of the 300-strong staff was ordered on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday following a decision by management and the Health Service Executive over the weekend.
The Irish Times report said the first confirmed case of the cluster was on Thursday last week, and that some 243 tests have been completed since with 42 are ongoing. The company said a “very high” number of positive cases were asymptomatic.
A spokeswoman for O’Brien’s Fine Foods, which runs the plant, said all close contacts of those infected have been asked to self-isolate and the factory was undergoing a deep clean.
She said: “Since the first cases of Covid-19 were identified in Ireland last February, we have operated with an abundance of caution and safety,” adding that the plant had been “fully audited by the relevant inspectors” in recent months with “no issues identified”, and that staff at the company “receive full pay for any Covid-related illness or absence”.