2 Sisters Food Group Coupar Angus factory fights COVID-19 again

By Gwen Ridler

- Last updated on GMT

2 Sisters ahs confirmed 30 cases of coronavirus at its Coupar Angus plant
2 Sisters ahs confirmed 30 cases of coronavirus at its Coupar Angus plant

Related tags coronavirus Meat & Seafood

Poultry processor 2 Sisters Food Group has reported a second outbreak of coronavirus at its Coupar Angus production plant.

A spokesman for NHS Tayside said the manufacturer was working closely with its public health team and all arrangements for contact tracing and self-isolation were in place.

“Staff are being given appropriate advice and additional support from their relevant Local Authority if needed,”​ the spokesman added. “The multi-agency Incident Management Team (IMT) continues to keep the situation under close review and the factory remains open. 

“Food Standards Scotland have confirmed there is currently no evidence that food is a source of coronavirus and it is very unlikely it can be transmitted through the consumption of food.”

Second outbreak

2 Sisters confirmed a previous coronavirus outbreak at the Coupar Angus site in August last year,​ related to a community cluster in the Perth and Kinross area local to the factory. The manufacturer temporarily suspended operations to help prevent the spread of the virus.

Commenting on the recent outbreak, a Food Standards Scotland spokesman said: “All staff from the affected unit are following public health advice and isolating, and the plant continues to operate with appropriate Covid-19 infection prevention measures in place.”

Meat processing plants have been the worst hit for coronavirus outbreaks since the pandemic began early last year. However, there has been debate about whether the source of infections stems from the factories themselves or the nearby communities where many production line workers live.

Meat processors

Banham Poultry confirmed cases of COVID-19 at its Norfolk site in August last year. Rowan Foods in Wrexham reported hundreds of cases of the virus in July, while Kepak was also badly hit at its Merthyr site.

The Trades Union Congress warned that food factories could become ‘super spreaders’ of the disease,​ a claim that was challenged by the British Meat Processors’ Association (BMPA).

The BMPA instead squared the blame on the mass reopening of restaurants after the second lockdown was lifted, as well as the return of students to schools and universities en masse.

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