Woolworths to resume meat processing at abattoir hit by Covid-19 outbreak
Woolworths’ temporary halt on processing meat through a South Australian abattoir hit by a Covid-19 outbreak will end this week.
On Sunday, the supermarket chain announced it suspended the sale of meat through Teys’ SA facility in Naracoorte, in the state’s South East, after a small group of asymptomatic “critical staff” were granted exemptions to return to work despite testing positive to the virus.
After consultation with Teys, SA Health and SafeWork SA, the supermarket giant said it was satisfied the Covid management protocols at the site met the relevant health requirements and would resume processing from Friday.
“Teys’ team members play an important role in helping deliver Australian beef to households across the country and we thank them for their contribution,“ a Woolworths spokesperson said.
“We continue to work with all our meat supply partners to prioritise Covid safety and provide quality Australian meat to our customers.
“Together, we are working to move as much stock through the supply chain as possible to meet our customers’ needs during this challenging time.”
Last week SA Health granted exemptions to “critical” infected asymptomatic staff “to ensure food security”.
They were directed to work in an isolated area away from others, wear appropriate PPE and undergo regular RAT testing.
NCA NewsWire understands the special circumstances for the positive workers to return to work has now expired.
About 140 cases have been linked to the site.
“We worked closely with Teys management to create a return to work plan that is safe for the workers and the local community, and is in the best interests of animal welfare and critical food supply,” a SA Health spokesperson said.
Now, both Teys and SA Health have confirmed no Covid-positive team member will work on site within seven days of testing positive and will complete the seven days of isolation required by health authorities.
With Teys being one of Woolworths’ processing suppliers, it has and will continue to process meat through its facilities in other states.
The retailer is also looking to source additional supply from partners to deliver as much product as possible amid current disruptions caused by the pandemic.
Originally published as Woolworths to resume meat processing at abattoir hit by Covid-19 outbreak
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