COVID-19 outbreak traced to food company 'Forevers' in Latvia

SPKC on Tuesday announced 34 new cases of COVID-19, of which 19 involved a company in Riga. Latvian Television reported September 22 that these had been found in food company Forevers.

Three cases of infection had been detected in this company over the weekend, so epidemiologists organized testing of employees in cooperation with the company. A total of 273 employees have been tested, but the testing is still ongoing and there may be further cases of infection, said SPKC epidemiologist Jurijs Perevoščikovs.

After discovering the first cases, employees have been tested as contacts, meaning they have to comply with a 14-day self-isolation.

The SPKC representative pointed out that this is not the first food company in the world where the outbreak of COVID-19 is recorded. Infections are facilitated by the fact that people are in the same room for a long time without masks, people gather in narrow spaces such as locker rooms, dining rooms, lounge rooms.

Employers should look at these additional risk factors to prevent infections in good time, Perevoščikovs said.

Forevers representative Inga Galkina told Latvian Television that food safety is not at risk and that the transfer of COVID-19 with products is not possible. There have also been no indications from epidemiologists of removing any product from store shelves. The safety requirements for food production are already high and have been further strengthened during the virus.

The company is continuing work, but it is difficult because of a lack of employees. Employees will have to do a repeat test before returning to work. The supply of production is currently taking place as far as possible, in line with the highest standards.

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