Meat processors insisted this week that there are no "active cases" of Covid-19 in Irish plants and that "stringent control and mitigation measures" were in place to limit the spread of the virus.
The tighter controls come as meat processors and the Department of Agriculture battle to limit the fall-out from China's suspension of imports from Rosderra's pig plant in Roscrea, Co Tipperary.
Fears that the suspension could be extended to some of the country's beef factories have been downplayed by industry sources.
Meat Industry Ireland (MII) maintained that the situation regarding Covid-19 had "significantly improved" over the last month. MII also challenged the scientific basis for China's suspension of Roscrea.
"As of today, there are no active cases in our meat plants. Our absolute focus is to maintain this position," Cormac Healy of MII said.
"Very substantial Covid measures have been put in place and we can confirm that, of the staff affected, over 96pc have now returned to work and the remainder are completing their isolation and recovery.
"The stringent control and mitigation measures in place, which are also being verified by the HSE, HSA and Department of Agriculture, will be maintained in the weeks and months ahead, with no room for complacency. Vigilance is the priority as general restrictions are lifted."
The Covid-19 situation in the factories represents a major turn-around for the sector. At the start of June public health officials reported 123 new cases of the virus among meat factory workers during the previous seven days.
In a letter to Roscommon-Galway TD Denis Naughten, former Health Minister Simon Harris said that by June 8 there were 1,091 cases of Covid-19 linked to meat factories, and that 29 workers had been hospitalised, with seven cases admitted to ICU.
No deaths were reported.
Both MII and the Department confirmed that they were in contact with Chinese authorities regarding the Covid-19 situation in meat factories.
"The Chinese authorities have been asking the competent authorities and exporters in all supplying countries for assurances in relation to Covid measures," Mr Healy said.
"We are working with DAFM on such requests and are happy to provide assurances on the very comprehensive measures in place."
However, MII questioned the scientific basis for China's suspension of meat imports from the Roscrea plant.
"The EU Commission has written to the Chinese authorities clarifying that neither the WHO, nor the World Animal Health Organisation nor the European Food Safety Authority identified any evidence that food was a likely source or transmission route of the virus," he pointed out.
Meanwhile, industry sources have discounted any suggestion that China's suspension of pigmeat imports from Roscrea could be extended to beef factories.
Irish beef exports to China are currently suspended following the discovery of an Atypical BSE case in May.
The Department said a decision on the resumption of beef exports will not be made until an epidemiological report on the BSE case has been "considered by the Chinese authorities".
The Department said that it is in "ongoing dialogue with the Chinese authorities on a range of topics, including trade-sensitive issues".
Ireland exported over 10,000t of beef to China in 2019. The trade was valued at €39 million.