Production at fish processing company M.V.Wool's Vihterpalu plant restarted on Thursday, with its output expected to reach stores next week, according to daily Postimees.
As reported on ERR News, the company announced earlier in the week that, following an extensive cleaning process, over 100 samples taken from the factory were clear of Listeria bacteria. The company had seen both its plants, at Vihterpalu and Harku, closed by order of the Veterinary and Food Board (VTA) following repeated instances of Listeria bacteria being found after samples were taken.
The company was at the center of a scandal which linked its products to Listeria bacteria, particularly the virulent ST1247 strain, which had allegedly caused the deaths of several people in Europe, including in Estonia, in 2018.
In addition to the VTA samples, M.V.Wool took around 20 samples of its own. The Harku plant remains closed; the VTA, which lifted the injunction forbidding production at the Vihterpalu plant in late November, took over 100 samples from that location on December 30.
A total of 30 M.V.Wool staff are also being laid off, the company says.
"The Vihterpalu factory began preparing for production this afternoon and, starting from next week, M.V.Wool fish products will be available on the market," company board chair Mati Vetewool said in a press release, according to daily Postimees (link in Estonian).
"It also means that 30 employees are being laid off," Vetewool added.
The Vihterpalu plant produces mostly herring products and not salmon and trout products, which are processed at Harku.
M.V.Wool will no longer have to carry out samples on a batch basis at the Vihterpalu facility, Postimees reports, but will have to abide by VTA regulations in place before the injunction.
Editor: Andrew Whyte