Tuesday, 23 November 2021
In late December 2019 cases of human pneumonia of unknown cause emerged in Wuhan, Hubei Province China, with clinical presentations like viral pneumonia caused by a novel coronavirus.
On the island of Ireland the first case of COVID-19 was diagnosed on the 26 February 2020 in a person returning from Northern Italy (Perumal et al., 2020). By 27 March 2020, all but listed essential workers were required to stay at home with no movement outside a 2km radius of home. A list of essential workers who could attend the workplace was published by Government on 28 March 2020. It included those working in the food industry and "regulation, inspection and certification services, necessary to support essential services" . Although initially planned as a short-term event, working from home continued throughout 2020 and well into 2021 including periods with varying movement restrictions.
These restrictions greatly affected the food industry, the FSAI and the Official Agencies charged with regulation of the food industry. They resulted in significant disruption to, and reconfiguration of the food supply chain, suspension of some official controls and other official control activities, cessation of business-to-business food safety verification activities and considerable restrictions on the nature and frequency of official controls.