JUST FOUR of the 130 positive tests of coronavirus that forced Banham Poultry to partially close presented any symptoms of covid-19.

The company now says that the fallout has prompted it to improve its protective measures at the poultry processing plant in Attleborough, Norfolk.

See also: 36 positive covid-19 tests at Bernard Matthews

In late August an employee of Banham Poultry tested positive for the virus, prompting mass testing at the plant that revealed a further 130 cases out of 800 workers.

The poultry processing plant voluntarily shut its cutting room as staff self-isolated, and as a result, birds had to be culled on-farm.

At the time Banham said the closure was costing it more than £2m a week because of the lost throughput.

Covid-19 prevention

The firm says it has since strengthened its coronavirus protection measures. A one-way system is now in place across the plant, social distancing has been enhanced, and all PPE is now single-use.

It has also worked with sanitation specialists MYDIS, part of International Water Solutions, to install walk-though disinfectant booths and is using fogging machines provided by the firm to disinfect areas regularly.

Blaine van Rensburg, managing director of Banham Poultry, said: “Health and safety has always been of paramount importance to us at Banham, but the pandemic has prompted to us evolve our protections.

“The COVID-security of our site is not negotiable to us, so we’ve worked with MYDIS to implement a range of best in class measures.

“Many of these measures, including MYDIS’s walk-in sanitising booths, will be permanent fixtures.

‘Front foot’

“Only four of the staff who tested positive had coronavirus symptoms, and these developed after their positive tests, so we’re determined to be on the front foot moving forward by ensuring we’re detecting high-temperatures at the door of all our facilities and regularly sanitising and disinfecting all areas as frequently as possible.

“Health inspectors have said our response is innovative, so we’re really proud of our collaboration with MYDIS to implement these solutions to help stop the spread of the virus in a workplace setting.”

Terri-Ann Boyle, director at MYDIS, added: “We’re constantly innovating to ensure we’re providing the most advanced, convenient yet effective solutions to disinfect and sanitise sites, helping to combat coronaviruses.”