Nine workers at Rossdown chicken plant test positive for COVID-19
This undated electron microscope image made available by the U.S. National Institutes of Health in February 2020 shows the Novel Coronavirus SARS-CoV-2. Also known as 2019-nCoV, the virus causes COVID-19. The sample was isolated from a patient in the U.S. (NIAID-RML via AP)
VANCOUVER -- Fraser Health has declared a COVID-19 outbreak at an Abbotsford chicken processing plant after nine workers tested positive for the virus.
The outbreak at Rossdown Natural Foods Ltd. was declared Dec. 17 but the plant will not close down, according to a news statement from the region’s health authority.
“Public health (officials have determined) it is not necessary to issue a closure order at this time,” reads the Fraser Health statement.
The poultry processing plant is located at 2325 Bradner Rd.
Fraser Health said it will “continue to monitor for additional cases, and case and contact management is ongoing.” Identified cases and their close contacts have been told to self-isolate.
The outbreak comes during the same week that Fraser Health announced 30 employees at a Surrey chicken processing plant, Wingtat Game Bird Packers Inc., had tested positive for COVID-19. The Wingtat plant has since been temporarily shut down.
The Canadian Food Inspection Agency has said there’s no evidence suggesting food is a likely source or transmission route for the COVID-19 virus.
“At this time, there have been no reported cases of food or food packaging being associated with the transmission of COVID-19,” reads the statement from Fraser Health.
As a result, no chicken or other products from the plant will be recalled. However, Fraser Health urges people to practice safe meat handling measures, including washing hands before and after touching raw meat, wiping down surfaces, and cooking meat thoroughly.