@David - thanks I got your message, will reply tomorrow. It does seem that the fear & paranoia are extra strong in areas that haven't had a real outbreak, so their only experience of it comes from what they see on the tv.
@Willem - 'When did we ever do everything possible to mitigate risk?' - er, since people had to start getting insurance, and got scared of being sued? Especially strong in the food industry unfortunately, mostly due to the bad practices of larger operations which led to scandals like BSE, foot & mouth, salmonella etc. Would agree that it's gotten crazy and that eating is a part of life & thus inherently risky, but then so is walking out your front door in the morning.
Agree on your other points, there's no real way to trace it, but the guilt, the guilt! Or the possible damage to reputation if it got out that staff were ill! Or any number of other paranoid imaginings. Like I said I haven't seen the documents he references, but it sounds like my argument would be with them more than it is with him (though he has handled it like an ass, and being sacked over it still seems grossly unfair).