Tuesday, 20 Oct 2020

Mass testing of Bernard Matthews staff after coronavirus outbreak at factory

Around 100 workers at a Bernard Matthews turkey factory in Suffolk have been tested for coronavirus after an outbreak among staff.

So far, 18 people have tested positive and are self-isolating.

Food production at the processing facility in Holton, near Halesworth, has not been affected by the outbreak, the company said.

The majority of staff who have been tested have returned negative results and additional testing is taking place this week.

Measures introduced at the plant in March to reduce the spread of infections include regular temperature checks, staff bubbles, covid marshals, mandatory masks and visors and social distancing.

The majority of the 18 workers who tested positive live in the Great Yarmouth and Lowestoft areas and the cases are believed to have initiated in the community, the company said.

Officials including from Suffolk County Council, Public Health England and Bernard Matthews are working together to manage the situation.

Stuart Keeble, Suffolk’s director of public health, said: ‘I’d like to reassure people that this is, at this stage, a relatively small number of cases and that the situation is being very carefully managed by all the partners working closely together.’

A spokesperson for Bernard Matthews said: ‘We are grateful for the help of all local agencies and we fully support their objectives to protect the local community.

‘We believe these small number of cases were initiated in the community, but nevertheless we will continue to enforce our robust Covid measures as we enter into our busiest period of the year.’

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