Coronavirus outbreak confirmed at Banham Poultry plant

Seven workers at a Norfolk chicken processing plant have tested positive for coronavirus – and a further five are isolating while they await results.

A number of other staff are being tested for the virus as a precaution following the outbreak at Banham Poultry in Attleborough.

However, management says the plant will remain open and production will continue while attempts are made to contain the virus.

See also: Poultry suppliers take steps to protect workers from Covid-19

The 4.85ha site, 12 miles south-west of Norwich – is the latest of a number of poultry processing plants to report outbreaks of coronavirus.

At the 2 Sisters processing plant at Coupar Angus, Perthshire, 134 workers plus 18 of their contacts have tested positive for the virus. The plant was closed on Monday 17 August and more than 800 staff have now been tested.

Louise Smith, director of public health at Norfolk County Council, told the BBC that staff at Banham Poultry were working closely with the council to trace any contacts who had tested positive for Covid-19.

She said: “We are monitoring the situation and taking action to prevent further transmission both at the site and in the community.

“Testing of a further number of staff is being arranged at the Banham Poultry site as a precautionary measure.”

Safety is paramount

Blaine van Rensburg, managing director at Banham Poultry, 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.”

Banham Poultry has been in business since 1965 and is one of the biggest employers in mid-Norfolk. It has a turnover of about £100m a year and processes 650,000 chickens a week.

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