Tuberculosis tests for Broch fish factory workers

Councillor Charles Buchan.
Councillor Charles Buchan.

Employees at Broch-based fish processing firm are being offered screening tests for tuberculosis.

Three people with a history of employment at Fraserburgh-based Whitelink Seafoods have been confirmed to have the infection.

Anyone that worked at the factory on Maxwell Place between September-November 2015, October-December 2014 as well as current staff are being offered skin tests to detect latent and active TB infection.

After confirming that the first case was diagnosed in December 2014, a NHS Grampian spokesperson said: “Subsequently, in June 2015, an ex-employee who had not worked at Whitelink Seafoods for several months was diagnosed with TB.

“This person had not had close contact with the first case while employed at Whitelink and it was not possible to determine if the source of their infection was in the wider community or linked to their previous employment at Whitelink.

“A third person was diagnosed with TB in December 2015.

“This person had been a close contact of the first case and had been screened by chest X-ray earlier in the year when no evidence of TB disease had been found.

“It is possible this person initially became infected with TB bacteria through close contact with the first case, but the bacteria had remained latent for several months before becoming active and causing symptoms.”

Councillor Charles Buchan, who acts as chairman of Aberdeenshire Council’s fisheries working group, is worried for the workers’ health.

He said: “I’m very concerned about their wellbeing, and I hope their health issues get sorted out quickly.

“I hope the number involved is restricted to just three. I’m glad that the management are being proactive with the testing of all workers.”

Whitelinks could not be contacted for comment.