According to the industry body Central Organization for the Meat Sector (COV), precautions have taken place.
“Our members already work according to strict HACCP standards. This means, among other things, that all employees have to wash their hands very regularly and that knives and machines are cleaned after use as standard.
“Since the coronavirus outbreak, we have also been following the guidelines of [National Institute for Public Health and the Environment] RIVM and the hygiene protocols for our own employees, temporary workers and visitors have been further tightened.”
COV stressed the importance of protecting its staff during the coronavirus pandemic.
“The primary purpose of this is to prevent our own employees from getting sick. We are a vital sector for the food supply and the continuity of the supply of meat and meat products to our customers (supermarkets, food companies, institutions and butchers at home and abroad) is our first priority. Our employees play an important role in this and their well-being is therefore our top priority.
“In addition, through these precautions we want to prevent the spread of the coronavirus as much as possible and to safeguard the processing of supplies from Dutch livestock farming. After all, it is also very important that this supply can continue undisturbed and that we are not confronted with an irregular pattern in demand, which may lead to animal welfare problems for the farmer.”
The statement added that it was business as usual for its customers but warned that there could be shortages in the future. “At this time, the delivery of meat and meat products can proceed as normal and customers are supplied according to schedule. A possible shortage of our products in the stores can really only be the result of extreme outliers in the short-term demand for specific products. However, we try to do this together with our customers by properly solving adapted business processes. We monitor developments from day to day and are in constant consultation with our (international) chain partners, customers and the Dutch government.”