Coronavirus: Asda meat factory shuts down following outbreak

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SHEFFIELD, UNITED KINGDOM - APRIL 18, 2020 - Coronavirus: social distancing signs outside an Asda store- PHOTOGRAPH BY Matthew Chattle / Barcroft Studios / Future Publishing (Photo credit should read Matthew Chattle/Barcroft Media via Getty Images)
Asda social distancing signs. Photo: Getty

Meat factory Kober Ltd, owned by supermarket giant Asda, was shut down in Yorkshire after a coronavirus outbreak was confirmed.

“We have existing strict safety measures in place on the site, however as a precautionary measure we have voluntarily closed the site to protect colleagues and prevent any further transmission,” the company said in an emailed statement to Yahoo Finance.

“As soon as we became aware that some colleagues at our Kober site may have Covid-19, we responded swiftly and worked collaboratively with the local authority and Public Health England to test all colleagues,” it added.

The company said colleagues who need to self-isolate will receive full pay and it aims to reopen the facility early next week.

The news was confirmed by Asda after Health Secretary Matt Hancock told the Downing Street press briefing there had been a localised outbreak in the West Yorkshire area.

The factory was the third food plant in two days in the UK to confirm an outbreak, the other cases being in Wales.

READ MORE: John Lewis latest UK store to reward staff for pandemic work

Production was halted at a chicken processing plant in North Wales, owned by 2 Sisters Food Group and employing 560 people, after an outbreak was declared.

2 Sisters Food Group is one of the largest food producers in the UK, with brands including Fox’s Biscuits and Holland’s Pies, and customers such as supermarkets, KFC and Marks & Spencer.

And in the town of Wrexham, 38 staff tested positive at Rowan Foods. A spokesman for Oscar Mayer, which runs the plant, said a track and trace process had been implemented at the factory, which prepares foods for supermarkets and chains including Greggs and Subway.

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