Dutch meat industry called on to introduce coronavirus testing

By Aidan Fortune

- Last updated on GMT

Dutch meat industry called on to introduce coronavirus testing

Related tags Netherlands coronavirus Vion Processing and packaging Innovation Processing equipment & plant design

The trade body for the Dutch meat industry, the Central Organization for the Meat Sector (COV), has urged on all large and medium-sized slaughterhouses to test their staff for the Coronavirus following a wave of cases in the sector.

This comes less than a week after COV reported that the Vion Groenlo facility had 45 out of 212 employees test positive for the virus.

“The results of the tests among employees of some Dutch meat companies gave an unexpectedly high percentage of infected employees. This must be done quickly in order to prevent any further contamination and to continue to offer employees in these companies a safe workplace. We call on the government and the ​[Municipal and Regional Health Service] GGD to help achieve this in the short term,”​ said general secretary Richard van der Kruijk.

He added that the Dutch meat sector is a “vital industry”​ to the supply chain.

“Employees in our industry have worked on location from the outset to fulfill their social role in the food supply to the best of the frontline of the corona virus. The recent figures from the GGD make it clear that personnel in slaughterhouses are now also affected by the virus. The COV finds this worrying. It is striking that the virus can apparently be present in positively tested employees, without this leading to complaints.”

“We cannot and do not want to ignore the numbers and signals. The COV has already called for extensive testing. The COV wants slaughterhouse staff to be tested by priority on corona in the coming days by the GGD. In addition, the COV recommends that employees who have been tested and do not have the coronavirus should go to work. Otherwise, the continuity of the supply of meat and meat products for the Dutch food supply is at risk.”

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