A factory has been closed with immediate effect after several members of staff tested positive for coronavirus.
Management at the 2 Sisters food processing plant in Coupar Angus have agreed to the closure after three employees were diagnosed with Covid-19, with a further two workers awaiting results.
It had also been discovered that several cases in the community are linked to the factory cluster.
Arrangements are being made for more employees to be tested, and close contacts to those who have tested positive are being advised to self-isolate.
An Incident Management Team (IMT) is working with Scottish Government, Public Health Scotland and local environmental health teams to provide advice and support.
Deputy First Minister John Swinney said: “Where clusters of cases develop we must find them and act quickly to prevent further spread.
“Public health teams in Tayside are responding quickly to this outbreak and we are liaising closely with them, Food Standards Scotland and Perth and Kinross Council to discuss all appropriate measures to contain this cluster.
“However, individuals who have been in this plant should be extra vigilant, ensure they follow all public health advice, and if they have any symptoms of COVID-19 should isolate and book a test on the NHS website.”
NHS Tayside Associate Director of Public Health Dr Emma Fletcher said, “NHS Tayside Public Health were alerted to the outbreak of COVID-19 associated with the 2 Sisters food processing plant yesterday. An Incident Management Team was convened and, working with the factory, measures were put in place to reduce the risk of further transmission of the virus.
“The people confirmed to have the infection and their close contacts in the community have been identified and advice provided. Further contact tracing within the factory setting is ongoing.
“Arrangements to provide testing for all factory workers are in process.”
Food Standards Scotland Chief Executive Geoff Ogle said, “There is currently no evidence that food is a source of coronavirus (COVID-19), and it is very unlikely COVID-19 can be transmitted through the consumption of food or food packaging.
“However as with other infections, good hygiene practices should be followed throughout every element of food preparation.”
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