Health authorities declare coronavirus outbreak at Vancouver food processing plant

Apr 21 2020, 2:49 pm

Health authorities have declared a COVID-19 outbreak among the employees working at a food processing plant in Vancouver.

Vancouver Coastal Health (VCH) says that more than two dozen employees at United Poultry Company Ltd. have tested positive for the virus.┬áThe chicken processing plant is located at 534 East Cordova, in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside neighbourhood.

Health authorities say that they were first made aware of the outbreak on Sunday, April 19, after they received a positive test from an employee at the plant.

During an investigation on Monday, April 20, the VCH Public Health team attended the site in-person and tested 71 staff members, 27 of whom tested positive for coronavirus. The plant was closed that same day.

In an emailed statement, VCH noted that “there is no evidence” and “no reported cases” of food acting as a source or route of transmission for the virus.

As such, the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) has not issued any recalls for chicken products distributed from the plant.

People are reminded, however, to practice good hygiene such as washing their hands with soap and water, cleaning and disinfecting surfaces, cooking food thoroughly, and avoiding cross-contamination of cooked and uncooked foods.

In total, to date, 28 employees at the plant have tested positive for coronavirus. VCH has not stated whether the plant has reopened or not.