WEST Melbourne sheep, goat and calf processor Cedar Meats will resume livestock processing tomorrow, about four weeks after it was closed due to a COVID-19 outbreak.
The company this afternoon said it will restart all aspects of its operations, including processing, tomorrow.
About four days have passed with no new cases of COVID-19 linked to the Cedar Meats cluster. The cluster’s last published COVID-19 tally was 111 infection cases, comprising 67 staff and 44 close contacts.
The company said staff who have been medically cleared by the Department of Health and Human Services to start work, yesterday attended a return-to-work information session at its Brooklyn site.
Cedar Meats general manager Tony Kairouz said he was really looking forward to having the Cedar family back together.
“As a management team, we have spent the last few weeks working closely with DHHS and WorkSafe to ensure that we are returning in the safest possible manner.
“Our aim is to provide a safe and healthy environment as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic,” he said.
“The control measures will be regularly updated to reflect changes resulting from Government announcements, directions of the Victorian Chief Health Officer and best practices for the sector.
“Approximately 300 staff will return to work this week,” Mr Kairouz said.
“DHHS has provided us with a list of all staff that are cleared to return to work.
“I’d personally like to thank both DHHS and Worksafe for being available to us at all hours and answering the many questions we have had about how we move forward,” he said.
“We have done everything possible to provide a safe work environment for our staff.
“The safety and wellbeing of all people will always be our number one priority and inherent in that is a happy place to work and thriving business that provides security of income to our people and their families,” Mr Kairouz said.
A Cedar Meats worker was first confirmed with COVID-19 on 2 April, and the west Melbourne sheep, lamb, calf and goat processing plant was closed on 1 May for 14 days for cleaning and infection control. All staff were tested, began self-isolating, and the department began appropriate contact tracing.