HSE and HSA approve reopening of Carroll Cuisine

The Health Service Executive (HSE) and the Health and Safety Authority (HSA) have approved the reopening of the Carroll Cuisine facility in Tullamore, Co. Offaly.

The latest HSE testing for Covid-19 among staff at the plant have “proved 100% negative” according to a statement from the food business.

This comes after the company temporarily suspended operations on Monday while waiting for the results of tests.

[The HSE and HSA] have confirmed to us that we have all necessary processes in place to allow for a reopening of our facility.

“The tests provide confidence that the actions we’re taking are effective. Taking into account the approval we have received, and the rigorous prevention measures we have in place, we will begin carefully and gradually resuming operations on a phased basis over the coming week,” Carroll Cuisine said.

“The HSE tested 210 of our colleagues last Sunday including staff who work in our food processing operations. The results of these tests proved 100% negative for coronavirus.

“Our remaining workforce aren’t based at our Tullamore facility, or haven’t attended the facility since people began working from home, resulting in no requirement for precautionary testing unless any symptoms are identified. We currently employ 330 people in total,” the business explained.

In total, nine employees at the facility contracted the virus (2.5% of all employees there) which prompted the original suspension of operations.

Carroll Cuisine recorded its first case among staff after a worker consulted their GP and subsequently tested positive on July 31.

“Acting responsibly, they had told us about their symptoms straight away when they first noticed them and had self-isolated. In line with our advance contingency planning, we immediately arranged to test everyone using an independent laboratory service,” the company said.

Carroll Cuisine added that it “welcomed proposals for a constantly recurring testing programme”.