UK News Haribo is hit by Covid crisis with 30 staff testing positive

14:05  29 october  2020
14:05  29 october  2020 Source:   dailymail.co.uk

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Haribo has today confirmed an outbreak of 30 Covid cases at its factory in West Yorkshire.

The employees at the sweet company's distribution centre and factory in Front Street, Pontefract have tested positive for the virus and are now self-isolating.

Haribo said strict health and safety measures are in place at the site and insisted the company had gone 'above and beyond' Government guidance.

The German-owned firm employs 732 people at its sites in Castleford and Pontefract.

This comes in the wake of a spate of coronavirus outbreaks across the UK which have hit giants including Bernard Matthews, Nestlé, Jammy Dodgers and Wagon Wheels.

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This means that someone could have tested positive in March, with no symptoms of Covid at all, and who then died in July, would be recorded in the official figures, as having died of Covid -related causes. Even if they were hit by a bus. Even more weird is the fact that there does not seem to be any time

Around 350 workers at food processing factories across the UK have now tested positive for coronavirus in less than a fortnight.

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It turns out that tests that deliver a simple binary “ positive or negative” result are not fit for purpose, as they tell us nothing about the contagiousness of If a significant percentage of tests doesn’t tell us anything about the patient’s true Covid status, the real scale of the pandemic becomes impossible to

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The lack of a breeze or ultraviolet light from the sun means the moisture remains and can't be killed off inside food processing plants.

Furthermore, social distancing is particularly difficult in workplaces with a busy production line meaning the virus is likely to spread more easily.

Loud machinery also forces people to raise their voices and researchers say situations where people have to shout result in an increased risk of projecting the virus to others.

It's not just in the UK where a trend has been seen, either, after hundreds tested positive in a Berlin slaughterhouse, while a wet market in Wuhan is believed to have been at the heart of a huge number of infections early on in the crisis.

There has been a spate of coronavirus outbreaks at factories across the UK in less than two weeks, including:

On Tuesday it was confirmed around 140 people had tested positive for the virus amid a 'significant outbreak' at the Cranswick Country Foods site in Watton.

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It was also revealed that 29 people had tested positive at a Nestlé factory in Fawdon, Newcastle upon Tyne, which houses around 600 workers.

Some 75 workers at a Bernard Matthews turkey plant in Great Witchingham, Norfolk, tested positive for coronavirus earlier this month.

As of October 15 there had also been 72 positive cases at Bernard Matthews' food processing facility in Holton near Halesworth, Suffolk County Council said.

Last week, a biscuit factory where Jammy Dodgers and Wagon Wheels are made was hit by an outbreak of Covid-19, with four staff testing positive for the virus.

Burton's Biscuits in Edinburgh said four workers had been told to go home and self-isolate after receiving positive test results on October 23

Nestlé confirmed the staff had tested positive since October 16 - around five per cent of all employees.

a truck driving down a street next to a tree: As of October 15 there had also been 72 positive cases at Bernard Matthews' food processing facility in Holton near Halesworth © Provided by Daily Mail As of October 15 there had also been 72 positive cases at Bernard Matthews' food processing facility in Holton near Halesworth a truck is parked on the side of a road: Some 75 workers also tested positive at a Bernard Matthews turkey plant in Great Witchingham, Norfolk © Provided by Daily Mail Some 75 workers also tested positive at a Bernard Matthews turkey plant in Great Witchingham, Norfolk


Britain's coronavirus outbreak has slowed significantly since the start of the month, suggesting the latest suite of lockdown restrictions are successfully flattening the second curve of the outbreak.

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Infections were almost doubling every seven-to-eight days in September, which sparked widespread fears the country had sleep-walked into a second wave following a lull in transmission over summer when the national lockdown was lifted.

But analysis of official data by MailOnline shows weekly Covid-19 cases across the entire UK are currently rising by just 14 per cent, with an average 18,465 cases per day.

Public Health England figures show the seven-day rolling average number of daily cases jumped from 3,676 in the week ending September 18 to 6,301 by September 25 (71 per cent). It rose by a similar rate the following week, climbing to 10,470 by September 29.

But, between October 9 and October 16 - the most recent snapshot - the rolling seven-day average number of cases only crept up by 14 per cent, from 16,196 to 18,465. For comparison, infections grew by 26.6 per cent the week prior. It suggests the rate at which infections are increasing is halving every week.

More than 300 members of staff at Cranswick Country Foods have been tested.

Norfolk County Council's director of public health, Dr Louise Smith, said the local authority was working with the Joint Biosecurity Centre to urge people in the Watton area to get tested if they have symptoms, amid the 'significant outbreak.'

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The local authority said testing at the Bernard Matthews turkey plant in Great Witchingham began on October 15, with more than 600 members of staff tested.

In Suffolk, Bernard Matthews brought in Covid-19 bus marshals on its free staff transport as part of its response to the outbreak.

Food production at the processing facility has not been affected by the Covid outbreak.

The site has had controls in place since March to reduce coronavirus infections, including regular temperature checks, staff working in bubbles, Covid marshals, 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 been caught in the community.

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

Earlier this month ten cases were linked to a Scunthorpe factory where employees claimed they were told not to wear masks because they are food hazards.

The Karro Food Group pork processing plant, one of the country's largest food producers, was criticised by employees for its coronavirus measures.

One employee at the factory, who wished to remain anonymous, said: 'Staff are dropping like flies and being sent home. There's around ten confirmed cases now.'

And Banham Poultry in Attleborough, which accounts for 7 per cent of UK chicken processing, closed its cutting room for two weeks from August 27 following an outbreak of the virus.

The shutdown cost the business around £2million a week, while factory owners had to cull 380,000 birds – a total stock loss of nearly £4million.

It has since reopened with additional safety measures, including five disinfectant machines at entrances to its factories and offices.

Food factories ravaged by Covid outbreaks

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