A German slaughterhouse business on Wednesday reported that 400 of its workers had tested positive for the novel coronavirus since the beginning of this week.
There have been a handful of coronavirus outbreaks in meat-processing plants and slaughterhouses across Germany.
Concerns have been raised about the working and living conditions of meat industry workers, many of whom are temporary labourers from Eastern Europe.
Out of the 500 tests conducted on workers in slaughterhouses and meat-processing plants belonging to the Toennies Group in the state of North Rhine-Westphalia, 400 came back positive, company officials said.
Local and company officials planned to give a press conference on the outbreak later in the day, and the state health ministry said it would deliver details about the situation to the state parliament.
“The company must reduce its production levels as far as possible,” local official Sven-Georg Adenauer told the Neue Westfaelische newspaper.
After a coronavirus hotspot was identified in a meat-processing plant in Coesfeld in May, the government ordered companies involved in the meat industry to conduct regular coronavirus tests on their workers. (dpa/NAN)