Coronavirus case closes seafood cannery in Ghana

A seafood canning plant in Ghana has been closed for disinfection and cleaning after an employee tested positive for coronavirus.

The Pioneer Food Cannery (PFC) at Tema, which produces StarKist Tuna, John West, Petit Navire and other canned tuna products, was temporarily shut down in April when staff were being tested and quarantined, and contacts were traced.

Part of the Thai Union seafood group, the plant has been co-operating with the Ghanaian government and The Tema Metro Health Directorate.

John Merva, European spokesman for Thai Union, said: “We are working with the health authorities to receive the full and complete results of those tests. Additionally, some employees have been asked to report for re-testing. We are working closely with the authorities on this and to confirm test results.

“The health and safety of our employees is our highest priority and it is important to us that they are looked after and reassured. At the same time, we are doing everything in our power to ensure continuity of our operations and securing the supply of food to consumers. We will provide further updates in due course.”

Thai Union’s sales in the first quarter were the best for three years, the Bangkok-based firm reported, reaching THB31.1 billion (US$970 million), up by 5.9 per cent compared with the same period in 2019.

This was said to be driven by ambient (canned) products which were up by almost a quarter at 99,599 tons, as consumers stocked up on shelf-stable products. Operating profit in the quarter was up almost 50 per cent at THB 1.53bn ($48m).