COVID exposure at Top Top warehouse leaves some regional areas short of bread

Supermarkets across regional Victoria have reported missing deliveries of bread as a result of a COVID exposure site at a major Melbourne bread warehouse.  

Tip Top’s warehouse was attended by a worker on September 6 and 7 before they later tested positive for COVID. 

Foster IGA manager Sam Higgs said he first noticed the shortage of Tip Top bread last Monday morning. 

“We put our bread racks out and the two we’ve got for Tip Top were completely empty,” he said. 

“There might’ve been some crumpets on it but that was about it.” 

He contacted Tip Top that morning.

“They mentioned to us then … that they were having supply issues and there might be supplies issues further days of the week,” Mr Higgs said. 

“We just have to hold tight.”

“Of course we copped a little bit of abuse; I understand that it’s not something people want to come on a Monday morning and to see no bread, but it’s just how it went.

“It was hard for us, a little bit. Customers certainly weren’t happy.” 

Interruptions to continue

Tip Top Bakeries said in a statement that the interruptions to supply were likely to continue into the middle of next week.

“The health and safety of Tip Top staff and contractors is our priority and, as a responsible employer, we continue to implement many precautionary steps to ensure we protect our workforce at this time,” the statement said.

“Our bread supply to retail customers in Victoria has been briefly impacted, operating at about 80 per cent of normal volume at a reduced range.”

The company said it was working collaborating with officials to maintain supply chains.

“We thank our consumers and customers for their patience and understanding during this time,” it said.

“We support the need for Department of Health and Human Services and government to work collaboratively with food manufacturers and industry to prevent food shortages amidst the ongoing pandemic.”

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