Meat factory outbreak entirely predictable – Bradshaw

Alliance Health Spokesperson Paula Bradshaw has expressed frustration at the lack of comprehensive preventative action in meat factories, as a cluster of infections linked to factory in Ballymena. The danger in meat factories was already well established.

The South Belfast MLA stated: “I raised publicly, including in an Assembly Question exactly a month ago, the obvious and serious risk to staff in meat factories and those who come into contact with them from the virus.

“We have seen instances elsewhere in the UK and Ireland of tens of cases being linked to individual meat factories, and literally thousands of confirmed cases were linked to a single plant in Gütersloh in Germany.

“It is completely obvious that meat factories represent a serious risk, and all then more so because the nature of that risk is still not fully understood. It is clear, however, that asking people to work in poorly ventilated indoor locations represents a serious hazard.

“This outbreak suggests that not enough has been done by the relevant Ministers to ensure staff safely in meat factories. We must now hear of more forthright action to limit the risks to staff and local communities near such plants over the coming hours and days.”