Local officials from the National Health Service’s (NHS’s) public health team said the number of cases reported at the site were an ‘expected increase’ and that additional positive cases had begun self-isolating.
Last week, the pork processor reported 19 cases of COVID-19 at the site and planned to shut down operations for at least a fortnight from January 23, according to local publication The Courier. The decision to close was taken due to “high absenteeism”.
Working closely with authorities
Associate director of Public Health and chair of the Incident Management Team (IMT) Dr Ellie Hothersall said: “The processing factory is working closely with NHS Tayside’s Public Health team, Food Standards Scotland and Angus Council Environmental Health Team and all arrangements for contact tracing and self-isolation are in place.
“The management team at the processing factory have informed the IMT that the Quality Pork Processors Board have made the decision to temporarily halt operations at the site for a two week period.
The outbreak continues to be under close review by the IMT.
Originally opened in 2016, the Quality Pork Processors abattoir in Brechin was supported by private investor funding and a £2.7m grant from the Scottish Government Food Processing, Marketing and Collaboration scheme.
The site – which processed pork for meat firm Tulip, now Pilgrim’s Pride – can process all Scottish-born pigs, with a capacity of more than 7,500 pigs and 300 sows a week. It temporarily closed over the summer of 2017 following a fire.
Meanwhile, Positive cases of COVID-19 at 2 Sisters’ Coupar Angus plant rose to 63 last week, as cases in the local area increased.
Workers union Unite has since demanded the poultry processor offer full pay to workers forced to self-isolate due to the virus.