2 Sisters Food Group has confirmed its Llangefni poultry plant on Anglesey has reopened today, a fortnight after production was temporarily halted due to a major Covid-19 outbreak.
A total of 217 of the processor’s 560-strong workforce have now tested positive for Covid-19, according to the latest Public Health Wales data, published yesterday.
2 Sisters said it expected full production to commence at the North Wales-based plant on Monday, 6 July, to allow for staff training.
The decision to reopen follows consultation with the Welsh government, PHW and other agencies such as the FSA and local authority. It comes after 2 Sisters implemented 30 additional Covid-safe measures to strengthen existing controls.
These include slotted visors to be replaced with full face visors for every colleague; full staggered shift starts and breaks; additional social distancing measures in canteens and CCTV surveillance of all potential high-traffic areas.
“As one of the largest employers on the Isle of Anglesey, we are more than aware of our responsibility in the community to ensure we act with care and keep everyone as safe as possible,” 2 Sisters said in a statement.
“Swiftly closing our factory was only the first step in doing this, and over the past two weeks we have left no stone unturned in our pursuit of best-in-class Covid-19 measures.”
Approximately 72% of the plant’s staff were Welsh, with about 18% comprised primarily of EU workers, 2 Sisters said. The site provides chicken to B2B and so-called white label foodservice customers, and does not supply retail or branded foodservice customers.
Young’s awaits test results
It comes as a Young’s Seafood processing plant in Annan, Dumfries & Galloway, was identified as ‘high-risk’ in relation to a Covid-19 cluster in the Scottish Borders yesterday.
The Scottish government said it had imposed five-mile travel restrictions on residents in a portion of the council area, following confirmation of 10 cases of Covid-19.
Young’s said one member of staff at its Annan plant had been diagnosed with the virus “as a result of community contact with an external party”. It stressed the individual had been on holiday from the site since 19 June and had made no contact with anybody from the site since.
But as a result of the wider cluster in the region, it had undertaken voluntary “precautionary testing” of its workforce. Results are due by the start of next week.
“We continue to adhere to UK government Covid-19 risk assessment guidelines and there are strict hygiene controls in place across all of our sites to protect our employees,” a spokeswoman said.
“These include use of personal protective equipment, extra sanitisation sites around working areas, the use of Perspex screens between employees in our factories and changes in site practices and facilities to ensure social distancing.”
Update, 8 July: Young’s Seafood has confirmed all 134 employees tested returned negative results.
“We will continue to remain vigilant and uphold our high levels of hygiene across our sites to ensure that all our team remain safe and healthy,” the processor said in a statement.
“We’d like to thank Public Health Scotland for their help in facilitating these tests and to our staff for their hard work over the past several months during these unprecedented times.”