Pioneer Food Cannery resumes operations after shutdown over COVID-19 infections

GHANA – Pioneer Food Cannery, a fish processing company owned by Thai Union, has partially resumed operations after it was shut down on April 17th  when 533 of its workers tested positive for the coronavirus disease.

According to an internal memo signed by the Plant Director of the company, Mr Johnny Ladouce, on May 9, 2020, the factory resumed partial production following the full disinfection of its plants, as well as the self-quarantine of staff who came into contact with the confirmed cases.

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Local media reports indicate that the company in conjunction with health officials had successfully done contact tracing while some of the employees were requested to report for re-testing.

As a result, clearance was given to the company to open on a limited basis,The company would be producing an average of 20,000 tonnes, as against the daily production capacity of 120,000 tonnes when the plants were at full capacity, reports Graphic Online.

“We will continue to operate in phases as we receive further clearance from the authorities until we are able to completely re-start full production,” the company said in a memo.

Pioneer Food Cannery, which produces Starkist Tuna and other brands for local consumption and for export, informed the workers that many of their colleagues who tested positive for the COVID-19 had since received treatment and had now tested negative on two occasions.

“This means that they will be able to return to work and we wish to thank you for your patience and cooperation. It is important to us that you return to work in full confidence and health,” it added.

As a food company, tuna processor noted that it already “operates to the highest standards of cleanliness and hygiene to both protect our staff and to maintain the safety and high quality of our products.”

PFC said that it will continue to adhere to the standards and include such additional measures as temperature checks at entrances and exits to the company premises, provision of alcohol rubs to facilitate hand sanitizing regularly, social distancing, wearing of masks and requiring self-declaration of any symptoms as well as regular monitoring of staff health.

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PFC is owned by Thailand-based and world’s top producer of canned tuna Thai Union.

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