Carroll Cuisine to suspend operations

Carroll Cuisine will suspend operations at its Tullamore plant in Co. Offaly to “support measures by the public health services to prevent the spread of Coronavirus in the community”.

The business had remained open today, despite a number of Covid-19 cases there, while other similarly affected plants had suspended operations.

However, it appears management has now taken the precaution to suspend operations.

Kieran Carolan, chief executive of Carroll Cuisine said: “The health, safety and wellbeing of all our people and our wider communities is an absolute priority for us at all times.

We have been working closely and co-operatively with the HSE [Health Service Executive] and, while positive case levels among our staff are low, we believe that the best approach is to take this break in operations over the days ahead until we can evaluate the results of comprehensive tests which were undertaken for our staff – on a precautionary basis – yesterday…in co-operation with the HSE.

“Through the independent testing that we also conducted and completed last week, a total of nine employees from our workforce of 330 [2.43%] to date have had positive tests for Covid-19 and are self-isolating.

“We note that a number of government and health service sources have said [that] factories should close wherever there are any cases of Covid-19.

“However, it’s essential that while closures may be envisaged, the industry will need to continue in operation to supply food and facilities will need to reopen once any particular situation is contained and brought under control.

Clear guidance is required on the measures, procedures and [the] roadmap envisaged by the government in this regard.

“We welcome proposals by the Minister for Agriculture for a 14-day recurring testing programme for the meat sector and we will participate fully in any such initiatives. This will help to monitor, suppress and prevent the virus; keep people safe; and protect employment when we reopen in due course…following the current precautionary measures.

“Our employees will continue to be paid as normal. We are very grateful to our staff for their excellent dedication and commitment and for the support and encouragement of our communities.

“However, we believe this temporary suspension of operations is the best course of action at this time.”