Coronavirus cases spark mass testing at Peter's Food

By James Ridler contact

- Last updated on GMT

Peter's Food has started mass testing for COVID-19 at its Bedwas site
Peter's Food has started mass testing for COVID-19 at its Bedwas site

Related tags: coronavirus

Peter’s Food is to test more than 600 staff at its Bedwas, South Wales pie factory for COVID-19, after six members of staff tested positive for the novel coronavirus.

A mobile testing station has been set up at the site by local authorities, with staff to be tested today (Wednesday, 21 October). The manufacturer has worked closely with the local council and NHS Track and Trace to identify any further cases of COVID-19 related to the company. 

Members of staff found to have contracted the disease are excluded from the site, along with any colleagues that have been deemed to have been in direct contact with them. 

Increasing number of cases

A spokesman for Peter’s said: “Our understanding is that the rationale for conducting a 100% testing of colleagues is the increased number of COVID-19 test results reported in recent days. 

“Peter’s has been told that the decision is not a reflection on the controls in place in the factory as these have been reviewed and are very good and there has been minimal positive Covid-19 or asymptomatic cases. 

“At this stage the authority still believes the transmission is through the community, however, they need to understand the bigger picture to identify if this is the start of onward transmission within the factory environment.”

COVID-19 measures

Peter’s Food has urged its staff comply with social distancing measures to avoid transmission in the factory environment and at home to their family members. 

“Colleagues have been reminded of the need for this responsible behaviour. As a business we welcome the ‘firebreak lockdown’ that has been announced by the Welsh Government as part of its wider national strategy to combat COVID-19,”​ the spokesman added.

A further nine cases of COVID-19 ere identified in the local area. However, seven of those cases are believed to be unrelated to any case at the Peters Food factory.

Meanwhile, confectionery manufacturer Haribo has reported 10 cases of COVID-19​ at its processing site in Pontefract, West Yorkshire.

Peter’s Food steps to reduce COVID-19 impact

  • Social distancing measures have been in place since March and continue.
  • “Perspex screens” and PPE are in place for those colleagues in packing areas.
  • Common areas are cleaned and sanitised throughout the day.
  • Canteen areas are seat limited with screens in place.
  • Shifts are staggered.
  • A weekly Covid review takes place with our colleagues and Trade Union representatives to ensure that practices are maintained, and any concerns dealt with.
  • There are daily practice checks and departmental audits.
  • All colleagues are required to confirm they are symptom free at the start of work. Any symptomatic colleagues are excluded from site immediately.

Related topics: Operations

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