69 employees tested positive Covid-19 in the slaughterhouse of Kermené, in Britain, 34 confirmed cases in Fleury-les-‘aubray in the Loiret : these new clusters raise questions.
Is there a particular risk to work in the slaughterhouses ? The question deserves to be asked, all the more that other structures of this type are transformed into foci of contamination, particularly in Germany and the United States. In germany, production has been suspended this morning (Monday) in a factory of cutting of Lower Saxony.
On the side of the slaughterhouse of Kermené, which continues its production for the group Leclerc while the ARS (regional Agency of health) tests massively employees and their contacts, leadership and staff confirm that the safety guidelines are fully met, despite the closeness inherent in the business and the conditions of work, i.e. confined space, cold and wet.
Interviewed by Ouest France, the head of this company of 2500 employees, Alex Joannis says that ” health measures exceptional have been put in place. It is the implementation of the guidelines according to the governmental measures of prevention “. Distribution Points of hydroalcoholic gel, separators between workstations, staggered hours… precautionary measures appear to have been complied with to the letter.
In Tradival, in Fleury-les-‘aubray, it seems, according to the prefect of the Loiret, the protocol has also been observed (masks, gel, temperature…). On France Info TV, employees evoke, however, the difficulty to comply with the safety distances, especially in confined spaces like the locker room.
The representative of the State has taken a decision on the closure of the largest slaughterhouse of slaughtered animals in the region Centre-Val-de-Loire, bringing in its wake one of the nurseries and schools of the city.
On both sites, the ARS now conduct the investigation to understand the causes of these contaminations, and their level. 63 cases were found positive out of 209 tests carried out in the Côtes d’armor while 34 people have been infected in the Loiret on 144 tested – the 400 employees must be subjected to a screening.
Laurent Habert, director general of the ARS Centre-Val-de-Loire :
Other reasons could explain these contaminations, as well as the tools used to produce aerosols potentially conducive to virus circulation. Thus, they remain to be defined.
A risk on the meat ?
However, consumers are concerned about. Y a-t-il, also, a risk of contamination to the coronavirus by the meat from these slaughterhouses ? No danger, ensure the scientists interviewed, such as dr. Yves Buisson, an epidemiologist and member of the Academy of medicine.
For his part, Jean-Luc Angot, deputy inspector general at the general Council of food, agriculture and rural areas (CGAAER) recalls that the coronavirus is transmitted by the respiratory route, and that ” there was no contamination in the gastrointestinal tract. The consumption of food, especially meat, is not risky “.