Wednesday, 29 April 2020 10:09

New protocols for meat industry

Written by  Peter Burke
Simra Karapeeva at home in her office. Simra Karapeeva at home in her office.

New protocols have been set for meat processing plants as they now operate in Level 3 Alert.

There is very little change according to Meat Industry Association chief executive Simra Karapeeva, who says the main change allows for some flexibility over physical distancing on processing chains.

It has changed from two metres to one metre, but this applies only in exceptional circumstances with protective screens in place between staff.

But Rural News has been told that many companies will retain the protocols for Level 4 because they have been able to tweak these and are getting a reasonable level of throughput. 

Karapeeva says the new protocols are effectively a minimum ‘guidance benchmark’, which processing companies must meet.

“But it is up to individual companies to decide how they implement this,” she says.

“What you will probably find that is companies that have been in Level 4 have made some small changes to their plants within that framework to reflect their own operating systems and the layout of their plants to try and increase capacity. 

“As long as people stick to the minimum it’s up to them to provide anything over and above that and give confidence to their workers,” she says.

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