National Pig Association - The voice of the British pig industry

Pig World logo

Home > News > More than 1,000 workers at Tönnies now positive for COVID-19

More than 1,000 workers at Tönnies now positive for COVID-19

22nd Jun 2020 / By Alistair Driver

The number of workers testing positive for COVID-19 at the Tönnies abattoir ​​​​​​in northwestern Germany has passed 1,000. ​

The figure today stood at 1,331 out of 2,000 staff tested, the NPA understands.

The factory was already closed for an indefinite period, following initial reports of the outbreak. The local health authorities have ordered all 6,500 employees and their families at the Rheda-Wiedenbrück meat processing plant, in the district of Gütersloz, to go into quarantine, Reuters reports
Speaking at a press conference on Saturday, the meat company’s proprietor, Clemens Toennies, described the outbreak presented an 'existential crisis' for the company, which has suspended operations as authorities seek to control the outbreak.

“As a company we thought we had done everything right,” he said, adding that the company had struggled to collect the personal data of employees and contractors so that authorities could trace the outbreak.

“As an entrepreneur I can only apologise. We have caused this and are fully responsible for it,” he added. 

This is the latest in a number of outbreaks in German pork plants and is a big blow to the country, which is seeing a general upsurge in cases. 

There is a knock-on effect in this country in terms of the cull sow market. See the NPA's comment to members on this in the Members Area (posted dated June 18).