Meat Industry Ireland comment on Covid-19 serial testing

September 10, 2020

Meat Industry Ireland (MII) has said that results to date from Covid-19 serial testing being carried out across all primary and secondary meat processing facilities in the country are very encouraging and show an extremely low incidence of positive cases. 

Results so far from 15,153 tests nationwide found 42 positive cases or 0.28% overall.  This demonstrates that the comprehensive protocols and mitigation measures in place in processing facilities across the country are working.  No other industrial work setting has had such a comprehensive screening test programme in place. 

At this point, food processing facilities, in the three counties that were restricted, have been tested weekly, for the last three weeks and a full round of nationwide testing in meat processing facilities has been undertaken in the last week. 

We understand that a decision by the HSE to pause the screening programme has been taken in order to release capacity for increased demand for symptomatic community testing. Clearly, the low level of detection of positives in the screening at meat plants facilitates this change in HSE priorities. 

We will continue to be guided by the public health authorities as regards appropriate testing approach and stand ready to facilitate further testing at any time.