Chicken factory closes after 75 workers test positive for coronavirus


The Banham Poultry factory has now closed as employees self-isolate (Photo: Rex)

A chicken factory has been forced to partially close after 75 staff members tested positive for the coronavirus.

The Banham Poultry factory in Norfolk first reported a case of the virus among its 1,100 employees on Friday. Tests were then carried out on 347 employees, 75 of whom returned positive.

One of those who tested positive for the virus was taken to Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital.

Hundreds of workers are now self-isolating, causing part of the plant to be temporarily closed for deep cleaning, health officials said.

The majority of cases in the plant have occurred among personnel working in the cutting room, where the chicken is cut into specific pieces of meat, which means that only this area will be closed. Cases, among other areas, are said to be low.
Ex-cop avoids jail after lying about sex offenses to get a jobDr Louise Smith, director of Public Health England in Norfolk, ruled out placing the area in immediate local lockdown.

She told the Eastern Daily Press: “At this point what we’re doing is a very specific localized lockdown to a very specific setting, the people who work there and their households.

“We do not foresee the need for geographic or urban lockdown at this point and we would only move to this type of measure if we got evidence of a general public spread that could not be linked to a specific location. , such as this epidemic.

She also noted that the risk of the virus spreading through the plant’s food or packaging was “very low.”

Banham Poultry Managing Director Blaine van Rensburg said: “The safety of our staff, customers and the general public is really important to us.

“We are working with public health authorities to make sure we are doing absolutely everything we can and following all the proper procedures.

“The business remains open and operational and we are doing everything possible to prevent the spread of the virus. We have already invested in a range of procedures and protective equipment to ensure the safety of our staff.

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