MARKHAM, ONTARIO – Sofina Foods Inc., a privately owned Canadian company that manufactures primary and further processed protein products, said two employees tested positive for COVID-19, the disease caused by the novel coronavirus. One case was confirmed at a further processing facility in Mississauga, Ontario, and the other at the company's pork facility in Burlington, Ontario.
The company said the affected employees are doing well and are self-isolating at home. The company immediately implemented a COVID-19 response protocol to investigate the cases and mitigate any risks to other employees. Sofina Foods’ Mississauga plant manufactures further processed chicken products and employs more than 180 people. The facility in Burlington produces fresh pork and employs close to 1,000 people.
“In addition to the required PPE when in production areas, masks or face shields are now mandatory in production areas at these two sites,” said Daniele Dufour, senior director, communications, at Sofina Foods. “We have a comprehensive manual and protocols in place for such situations and the teams were prepared. This allowed us to quickly assess risks, alert proper stakeholders and identify any action needed in addition to the proactive measures already in place.
“We also stopped operations overnight at the Mississauga plant to allow fogging of all welfare areas in addition to daily sanitation. Fogging is one of the most effective methods to properly disinfect harder to reach places,” Dufour noted. “In the case of our Burlington plant, the employee had not been at work for a week. Given the sanitation protocols in place at the plant, including regular fogging, we are confident that the areas where the employee went do not pose any contamination concerns.”
All Sofina Foods facilities have deployed a number of measures to prevent the spread of the virus including temperature checks, ongoing sanitation of common areas and offices, staggered breaks, physical distancing in common areas, face shields, Plexiglas separations on the production line, at handwashing stations or in lunchrooms.
The flow of movement at both plants was redirected to create a single point of entry and a single exit point at each site, the company said.
Public health authorities reviewed both cases and confirmed they were isolated incidents and expressed their satisfaction with the response protocols implemented at both facilities, Sofina Foods said.