A worker at an abattoir has claimed staff were stunned when they were told they would have to continue working despite an outbreak of Covid-19 at the facility.
Well-placed sources at the Quality Pork Processors slaughterhouse in Brechin contacted the Tele claiming there have been up to a dozen cases of the virus recorded, with the first positive tests possibly coming in as long ago as last week.
One worker, who wished to remain anonymous, said: “There is an outbreak there. I came off to get tested last night and I’m staying off just now, for precautions for my family.
“I don’t know if the person who tested positive told the management, but what I’m led to believe is, he tested positive last week, and still came to his work.”
‘They should have deep-cleaned’
The employee believes that little is being done to prevent further contagion, saying: “As far as I’m led to believe they haven’t deep-cleaned the area where there were positive cases, then the next shift comes in and goes into the same area, without being cleaned down.
“I don’t think that can be within the proper hygiene rules.
“There are obviously Food Standards people who come in checking, and vets in checking the safety of the pigs to make sure they’re not being harmed before the kill.
“But this seems to be a case of the firm just not doing certain things right. To me when that guy was confirmed to have Covid-19 they should have deep-cleaned the area when he was in it.
“But as far as I’m aware, that wasn’t done.”
‘The staff are not happy at all’
The worker claimed there were three people he knew of who tested positive and 17 sent home as of Wednesday from the abattoir, which is just on the outskirts of the Angus town, on the Montrose road.
And he also said rather than the company organising workforce testing, it was being left up to the individuals to get tested themselves.
“Obviously I’ve not been in, I went for a test last night and I’m waiting for the results,” he added.
“The staff are not happy at all. A lot of them have young kids. To me, it’s disgraceful the way it’s been handled.
“We’ve had nothing at all from the management to tell us what’s going on.”
The staff member said people who had tested positive working around produce that would eventually be sold in shops and consumed by people was “extremely worrying”.
Others have also been left outraged by the handling of the incident.
The mother of one employee said: “I don’t work there personally but my son works there.
“He reported to me that 12 cases were found last week and everyone got tested and some more have come back positive again this week.
“But the factory is still open for business.”
Quality Pork Processors was approached for comment but had not responded at the time of publication.