Appearing before the Special Committee on COVID-19 later today, Food Drink Ireland (FDI) highlighted in a statement that it will say that 'Prepared Consumer Meat companies has introduced stringent control and mitigation measures since mid-March including the National Return to Work Protocol and specific HSE guidance for meat processing.'
'Verification of these measures has been overseen by HSA and Department of Agriculture inspections,' the group said.
Paul Kelly, FDI Director said: “The food industry is deemed an essential service by Government so has remained open whilst dealing with the risks of the pandemic. Where cases of Covid-19 have been detected, our members have responded in accordance with HSE guidance.
“We must take appropriate measures to ensure the continuity of essential businesses and protect our economy. This must involve Government, public health officials and businesses working together to ensure that there is a proportionate response to outbreaks within the community," he said.
Kelly added: "The experience of the sector to date has highlighted a number of key considerations for further testing in communities and workplaces including speed of swabbing/testing, data protection and business continuity?sustainability. It is vital that a considered and coordinated approach is developed that is proportionate, takes account of the essential nature of food processing and is grounded in expert advice from the health authorities”.
Prepared Consumer Meats companies produce cooked, cured and other value-added meat products.
The group noted that they employ over 2,800 people and buy over €230 million worth of goods and services domestically every year.
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