A spokesman for the dairy manufacturer confirmed the worker had died after being admitted to a hospital with the disease. The employee had been off work since 30 December due to a personal matter.
The death of the employee comes less than a month after a worker at its Bridgwater, Somerset site died from the virus, with a further 47 members of staffed testing positive as well.
Impact to production
A total of 16 members of staff at Muller Droitwich are now in self-isolation. The manufacturer stressed that fresh milk processing had not been impacted, due to the highly automated nature of production.
Commenting on the threat of COVID-19 at the plant, the spokesman said: “Our approach to the COVID-19 pandemic has always followed best practice as set down by the Health and Safety Executive, with standard measures in place including the use of facemasks, distancing, enhanced daily deep cleaning and hygiene.
“We have introduced mandatory temperature testing for all employees at the site entrance, hired designated COVID-19 coaches to help ensure full compliance with strict protocols and we are redoubling our advice to help ensure that transmission is minimised in the community and through travel. This is underpinned by a programme of e-learning, information and audits to ensure compliance and awareness of the measures.”
Last month also saw Scottish abattoir Quality Pork Processors suspend operations at its Brechin site after confirming 34 positive cases of COVID-19. The company had planned to shut down the site for two weeks from 23 January following 19 reported cases the week before.
Meanwhile, workers union Unite has demanded 2 Sisters Food Group provide full pay to workers at its Coupar Angus factory that are self-isolating amid a string of COVID-19 cases there.
The union called on the poultry processor to offer the same pay scheme set in place when the first outbreak of coronavirus hit the site in August of last year.