MAJOR red meat processor JBS Australia has resumed lamb and beef processing at its Brooklyn plant in after closing about two weeks ago due to COVID-19 infections among staff.
JBS Australia director John Berry confirmed that the plant resumed processing on its lamb and beef chains today and said a full statement would be made soon.
The Department of Health and Human Services told Sheep Central it has been working closely with JBS Brooklyn to prepare them for full resumption of operations and ensuring that all appropriate public health actions have been undertaken.
“This is scheduled for Monday,” a spokesperson said.
Industry sources also said the company has resumed purchasing livestock, booking lambs from the weekly Bendigo sheep sales to its Brooklyn plant.
The company closed its Brooklyn plant about two weeks ago, commenting that the persistence of community transmission of COVID-19 in Victoria and the directives from DHHS have meant it was impossible to operate JBS Brooklyn in the current COVID environment.
The JBS Brooklyn plant resumption is expected to be welcomed by the lamb industry as the spring lamb turn-off gains momentum in eastern states.
In other good news, Sheep Central was told today that up until yesterday there had been no positive COVID-19 infections reported among the close contacts of a worker at the Australian Lamb Company at Colac. The company closed its afternoon shift while resting of the close contacts was done. All Victorian meat processing plants are currently working under workforce restrictions and improved sanitisation procedures designed to reduce the likelihood of COVID-19 disruptions.