BANHAM POULTRY is to close its cutting room after 75 positive coronavirus cases.

Earlier this week the company said seven staff had tested positive for covid-19.

As a result, 347 workers at the Attleborough plant were tested, putting the infection rate at about 22%.

All 350 staff cutting-room staff have been asked to self-isolate along with others in their households.

Those who have tested positive will be asked to isolate for ten days, while those who have tested negative will be asked to isolate for 14 days.

The area of the factory that is affected will be deep cleaned.

Staff working in other areas of the plant will continue in work and the rest of the plant will remain open.

Norfolk’s Director of Public Health, Louise Smith, said: “This action has been taken because we believe it is the most effective way to protect the wider public from further transmission. We have carefully assessed the various levels of risk to come to this decision.

“This has been an incredibly tough decision for Banham Poultry, whose management team has worked tirelessly to make arrangements for this partial closure, balancing the protection of the public, their staff and their business.

“I’d also like to thank them for their significant endeavours in assisting us with contact tracing.

“The management team at Banham Poultry is continuing to work closely with us alongside other colleagues at Breckland Council, Public Health England and the Department of Health.

“We know the workers live mainly in the Breckland, Norwich, and Great Yarmouth districts. We will be working with partners across the county to support people to isolate.”

Dr Smith added: “At this stage in our investigation these cases of infection are in staff who work in Banham Poultry and their households.

“There is no evidence of increased risk to the general public. The risk of infection from food products is very low.”