The manufacturer confirmed a ‘small number’ of employees had tested positive for the novel coronavirus, but declined to reveal the exact number affected.
A Premier Foods spokesman said: “The health and well-being of our colleagues is our first priority, and has shaped everything we have done throughout the pandemic. Over the last week, we have seen a small number of colleagues test positive for COVID-19 at our Stoke-on-Trent site.
“We have stringent hygiene and safety procedures in place to prevent the transmission of COVID-19 on site. We are monitoring the situation closely and continue to keep local authorities updated.”
The Stoke site has reportedly been hit by cases of COVID-19 last year – six members of staff tested positive for the virus in August 2020.
The latest round of positive cases of COVID-19 at Mr Kipling Stoke follow a number of outbreaks and cluster of the coronavirus at food and drink processing plants across the country since last year.
At the beginning of last month, dairy processor Müller confirmed that a worker at its Droitwich, Worcestershire site had died after contracted the virus, with 16 other employees self-isolating as a precaution.
COVID in the food industry
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.
In January, Scottish abattoir Quality Pork Processors suspended operations at its Brechin site after confirming 34 positive cases of COVID-19. The decision to close followed high absenteeism in the wake of the virus’s spread.
Meanwhile, Campden BRI has developed a test to gauge the effectiveness of air cleaning systems in protecting against SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19.