Number of cases of Covid-19 confirmed at Glanbia facility

A number of cases of Covid-19 have been recorded at a Glanbia facility in Co. Kildare.

Glanbia confirmed to AgriLand that four cases of the virus have emerged at the plant in Ballitore in the south of the county.

In a statement, Glanbia said: “Glanbia Ireland confirms that our business continuity processes [BCP] have been escalated at our Ballitore, Co. Kildare, facility in response to four positive coronavirus [Covid-19] cases among the workforce.

The health and safety of our employees, our customers and our suppliers is our top priority. We are working closely with local health authorities and following all appropriate advice.

“Glanbia Ireland immediately activated contact tracing procedures and the company’s health and safety and quality teams have implemented all the appropriate processes,” the business said.

The statement continued: “Since March, we have managed the challenges arising from coronavirus [Covid-19] with a dedicated crisis response team in place to ensure that our 2,000 people in Ireland are protected and that we continue the important service of producing food products and ingredients to serve our consumers, customers, shareholders and communities.”

Glanbia said that it has “implemented detailed site protection plans and protocols” at all its locations and is “managing health and safety assiduously through a comprehensive set of measures”.

“Please be assured Glanbia Ireland is continuing to monitor this situation on a proactive basis and is taking all appropriate measures,” the statement concluded.

Testing for dairy processors

In other news, Covid-19 testing in dairy processing facilities is understood to be on the cards as well as in the meat processing sector, leading to puzzlement among some in the dairy industry.

Some – though apparently not all – dairy processors were made aware of this through correspondence from the Health Service Executive (HSE).

Conor Mulvihill, the director of Dairy Industry Ireland (DII), told AgriLand: “It was a surprise to us [for dairy processors to be included]… We are trying to get to the bottom of it.”

He added that DII was awaiting the outcome of meetings of both the National Public Health Emergency Team (NPHET) and cabinet later on today, Tuesday, August 18.

“We’ll do everything that is necessary. For [the dairy industry] to perform well and be dragged into this is puzzling [but] we’ll adhere to any public health information,” Mulvihill said.