Carroll Cuisine, which suspended operations at its plant in central Ireland earlier this week, has said Covid-19 tests on more than 200 of its staff have come back negative.
The meats and ready-meals supplier said 212 employees based at its Tullamore facility were tested by Ireland’s Health Service Executive.
Carroll Cuisine, majority-owned by private-equity firm The Carlyle Group, said its first employee to test positive for the novel coronavirus was on 31 July. Tests carried out by the company led to a total of nine staff out of 330 being shown to have the infection. The HSE agency then carried out the tests on 212 of the employees at the Tullamore plant.
“We therefore carried out two major testing programmes in one week. The remaining workforce of Carroll’s are not based at our Tullamore facility, or have not attended the facility since colleagues began working from home, resulting in no requirement for testing. Only employees who have tested negative will be allowed back to our Tullamore facility,” the company said in a statement.
The company is in talks with the HSE to establish when and how the Tullamore site can re-open. Carroll Cuisine said “a small number of essential maintenance workers are on-site as they are required to maintain the facility”.
It added: “Less than 3% of our workforce have tested positive for the virus and are self-isolating. Due to the small number of cases and contact-tracing being carried out, this allowed our factory to continue operating with the staff members who had all tested negative.”