September 3, 2014

Elyria
Fog
65°F
test

TB found in food processing worker

AMHERST — An unidentified former employee of Advance Pierre Foods Co. in Amherst was diagnosed with tuberculosis, leading to the testing of dozens of people, according to a spokeswoman for the Mercy TB Clinic.

“During our tests, no (other) active cases were found,” said Mercy spokeswoman LeeAnn Hastings.

The former employee who was diagnosed with TB was the sixth active case this year, which is about average, she said.

There were five active TB cases in 2011, she said.

Advance Pierre, which processes meat at 1833 Cooper Foster Park Road, offered tests to its employees, and about 90 people took part, said company spokeswoman Mary Patrick.

There are three shifts of about 200 people each and about 90 people on the shift the former employee worked on took part in the tests, Patrick said.

About a dozen people reacted to the initial test, but further testing showed they did not have TB, she said.

At no point were any food products affected, Patrick said.

“TB cannot be transmitted through food or food handling, and it is only transmitted person to person, so there was never any issue of safety,” she said.

The company, which used to be called Cloverdale Foods, will help employees who are concerned to take the test again at a later date, according to Hastings.

In April, about 900 people at Lorain High School were tested and last month, about 1,400 people at Elyria High School were tested after individuals at both schools were treated for TB.

Contact Cindy Leise at 329-7245 or cleise@chroniclet.com.