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Meat processing plants have been prominent hotspots for coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreaks around the world. We describe infection prevention measures and risk factors for infection spread at a meat processing plant in Germany with a COVID-19 outbreak from April to June 2020. We analysed a cohort of all employees and defined cases as employees with either a PCR or ELISA positive result. Of 1,270 employees, 453 (36%) had evidence of SARS-CoV-2 infection. The highest attack rates were observed in meat processing and slaughtering areas. Multivariable analysis revealed that being a subcontracted employee (adjusted risk ratio (aRR)): 1.43, 95% CI: 1.06–1.96), working in the meat cutting area (aRR: 2.44, 95% CI: 1.45–4.48), working in the slaughtering area (aRR: 2.35, 95% CI: 1.32–4.45) and being a veterinary inspector (aRR: 4.77, 95% CI: 1.16–23.68) increased infection risk. Sharing accommodation or transportation were not identified as risk factors for infection. Our results suggest that workplace was the main risk factor for infection spread. These results highlight the importance of implementing preventive measures targeting meat processing plants. Face masks, distancing, staggering breaks, increased hygiene and regular testing for SARS-CoV2 helped limit this outbreak, as the plant remained open throughout the outbreak.


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