Seven workers at a chicken processing plant have tested positive for coronavirus while another five await test results.
But production is continuing at Banham Poultry which processes around 650,000 chickens a week at its 12 acre site in Attleborough, Norfolk.
The plant has become the latest food processing plant to report an outbreak, prompting concerns that Covid-19 can easily spread in chilled factories.
All seven staff who tested positive are isolating for 14 days. The five workers are also isolating while they await test results.
Further testing for the workforce of around 600 people is being arranged as a ‘precautionary measure’.
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Director of public health for Norfolk Louise Smith said health officials were ‘monitoring the situation and taking action’ to prevent further transmission at the factory and in the wider community.
She said: ‘The management team at Banham Poultry has acted quickly to help prevent the spread of the virus and is working closely with us to trace the contacts of those who have tested positive.’
Banham Poultry managing director Blaine van Rensburg said: ‘The safety of our staff, customers, and the wider public is really important to us and we are working with public health authorities to make sure we are doing absolutely everything we can and following all of the correct procedures.
‘The business remains open and operating and we are doing everything we can to prevent the further spread of the virus.
‘We have already invested in a range of procedures and protective equipment to keep our staff as safe as possible.’
The processing plant is in the area of Breckland which has just 5.02 cases per 100,000 people – around half the average for for England which has 10.68.
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