Health officials have declared a COVID-19 outbreak at a chicken processing facility in Vancouver after 28 employees tested positive for the virus.
In a Tuesday (April 21) news release, Vancouver Coastal Health said it first became aware of the issue after receiving a positive test on Sunday (April 19) for an employee at the United Poultry Company Ltd. at 534 East Cordova St.
Health-care workers tested all 71 workers at the plant the next day and 27 more tested positive, bringing the total to 28. The health authority closed the plant Monday (April 20).
The Canadian Food Inspection Agency said there is no evidence to suggest that food is a likely source or route of transmission of the virus, nor have there been any reported cases of food packaging leading to COVID-19 infections. The health authority said there will be no recall of chicken products from the plant as a result of the outbreak.
Canadians are urged to follow proper hygiene practices when preparing food, including:
- Washing hands with soap and water
- Regularly cleaning and disinfecting surfaces
- Cooking meat thoroughly
- Avoiding potential cross-contamination between cooked and uncooked foods.