Risk of catching the coronavirus from eating meat is 'very low', Sir Patrick Vallance says as a THIRD food factory in Wales is hit by a Covid-19 outbreak
· The Kepak food factory has reportedly had eight cases of Covid-19 in June
· It comes after a chicken-processing plant on Anglesey closed because of virus
· Experts say cold, dark conditions where people are close together help spread
· Here’s how to help people impacted by Covid-19
By Stephen Matthews Health Editor and Sam Blanchard Senior Health Reporter For Mailonline (UK)
23 June 2020
The risk of catching the coronavirus from eating meat is 'very low', Sir Patrick Vallance assured Britons today after a third food factory in Wales was hit by a Covid-19 outbreak.
Number 10's chief scientific adviser said food safety officials who looked 'carefully' at whether meat is a vector ruled the risk was slim.
Dismissing fears of contaminated meat in tonight's Downing Street press conference, he said: 'The meat itself is not the issue but the environment in which this takes place is.'
Sir Patrick added that the virus 'prefers' cold places such as meat-processing plants, which are often chilled to preserve them.
He added it can be 'difficult' to keep workers separated in cramped factories and communal areas, and warned staff may have to speak loudly — which studies have suggested can spread the virus.
Fears over meat were raised again today after Welsh health minister Vaughan Gething today confirmed a Covid-19 outbreak had broken out at a meat processing plant in Merthyr Tydfil.
At least 34 people have tested positive at the plant run by Kepak, with eight of them discovered this month. Mr Gething said the 'small cluster' was being investigated.
It comes as the whole island of Anglesey — home to 70,000 people — faces the threat of a local lockdown after a chicken factory shut down because 158 staff tested positive for Covid-19. Another outbreak at a food plant in Wrexham saw at least 70 people test positive.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson was asked about the cluster of outbreaks at meat-processing factories in tonight's Downing Street press conference.