A spokesman for the company confirmed a “small number” of isolated and unrelated positive cases of coronavirus at its specialist snacking site. Affected workers are now self-isolating in accordance to Government guidelines, along with any identified close contacts.
“We believe the cases are as a result of the prevalence of COVID within the wider local community,” the spokesman explained.
“Our team members at Ruskington are key workers who have responded to this global pandemic in the most challenging of circumstances; their health and wellbeing is of the utmost importance.”
Working with local authorities
Pilgrim’s Pride said it had been working to guidelines issued in relation to the virus. It was in liaison with UK Government, the Food Standards Agency, the Health & Safety Executive and Public Health England on all matters regarding social distancing and its application in food factories.
“We have also implemented additional measures where they bring benefit to particular situations and audit our own compliance of all COVID-19 controls daily,” the spokesman added.
In our exclusive podcast, head of sustainability Matt Dight told Food Manufacture that social distancing measures and lockdowns had made it hard to communicate its plans along its supply chain.
Coronavirus in the food industry
Over the past month, several food and drink manufacturers reported cases of coronavirus in their factories, including Peter’s Food, Nestlé and Cranswick.
Haribo reported 10 cases of COVID-19 at its processing site in Pontefract in mid-October, which grew to 30 cases after further testing at the site.
A spokesman for the confectionery manufacturer said: “This continues to be an evolving picture with 25 colleagues currently off work having tested positive for COVID-19. As expected, each individual and those that have been in close contact are self-isolating.
“As a business, we continue to go above and beyond the Government's guidance and follow strict internal standards around the health, safety and well-being of our colleagues, which is our top priority.”