Qualified technicians equipped with the necessary personal protective equipment (PPE), respiratory protective equipment and specialist disinfection equipment to work safely and effectively. File picture: Ayanda Ndamane/African News Agency/ANA
Qualified technicians equipped with the necessary personal protective equipment (PPE), respiratory protective equipment and specialist disinfection equipment to work safely and effectively. File picture: Ayanda Ndamane/African News Agency/ANA

Cape worker claims snack food factory is flouting Covid-19 safety protocols

By Shakirah Thebus Time of article published Jul 7, 2021

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Cape Town - A workers has accused snack food brand Snaxels Foods of not putting in place Covid-19 safety measures, thus putting the lives of its workers at risk.

This comes after two employees recently tested positive for the virus.

Speaking anonymously out of fear of losing their job, the concerned worker said: “They didn’t let us go home or clean the place. They just told us, if we feel sick, we must just say (so) and isolate ourselves. Some of us are at a higher risk of catching Covid-19.

“We don't have a cleaner here. We must do it ourselves in our work time. Here’s nothing like that - a cleaner that sanitises the area in our workplace every single day. They don't have the non-contact thermometer to take your temperature. They don’t do that with us in the mornings.

“It's not fair towards us as workers that are still busy working. And this whole place wasn't sanitised yet, and what if we catch this virus here in the workplace and we go home to our families? It’s not right.”

However, the family-owned manufacturer of meat binders and snack foods, located in Parow Industria, maintains that it has in place all the necessary precautionary Covid-19 safety measures.

Helge Scherner, a co-director of the company, confirmed that two employees tested positive recently and were in isolation.

Scherner maintains that the area was sanitised.

“Work surfaces in both the factory, staff canteen and office are sanitised on an ongoing basis or at least twice daily.”

On health and safety protocols in place to guard against the virus, he said: “We provide sanitisers and the appropriate cleaning equipment and clean-as-we-go. The office is sanitised in the morning and afternoon. We mandate the wearing of masks at all times. Staff are questioned at our morning operations briefing with regard to symptoms on a daily basis.”

He said that, as a food factory, staff were also mandated to make use of hand-washing stations as part of their food safety training.

“Additional hand sanitiser is provided throughout our factory and office. Additional meal times have been provided to reduce the number of staff members in the canteen to ensure social distancing.

“No outside persons are allowed in the factory, and office visits by suppliers have been reduced to essential only. Visitors are asked to sanitise and their contact details are recorded,” said Scherner.

He said no other employee has since tested positive. Snaxels employs 22 staff members, with 16 working in production.

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