Covid outbreak factory's safety message to customers
A chocolate factory handling a Covid-19 outbreak has moved to reassure customers that its products remain safe.
Kinnerton Confectionery in Fakenham announced on January 10 that 15 colleagues had tested positive for Covid-19 and that it was now working with health authorities to contain the outbreak.
The chocolate factory, which is the town’s largest employer, said it was to stay open despite the number of cases.
Michael Artt, site director at the Oxborough Lane factory, said the business had no plans to shut, and that it was doing everything possible to make the workplace safe for employees.
Both the factory and North Norfolk District Council said in a statement that there was no evidence of risk to consumers.
“There is no evidence to suggest that Covid-19 is transmitted by the consumption of food implicated in a premises with Covid-19 infection and the Food Standards Agency and government guidance state this in their guidance," they said.
Dr Louise Smith, Norfolk's public health director, said a number of Kinnerton workers had tested positive for the virus since early November and testing had been under way among the workforce.
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The council confirmed a Covid-19 spot inspection visit was undertaken by an inspector in November 2020. Kinnerton carried out a satisfactory risk assessment in accordance with the Health and Safety at Work Act.
Norfolk county councillor for Fakenham Tom FitzPatrick said he supports the factory remaining open but must keep an eye on what develops.
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“It's the balance between keeping businesses running and not just closing them down,” he said.
“As long as they are running, anyone that tests positive must isolate, and the business needs to follow the control and guides given by public health.
"If things get worse I would support closing places but only when it is essential.
"If they can operate safely with the advice from the NHS, they can continue to operate.
“If the advice is they can run then I will support it, but if it got worse I would support whatever is the recommendation.”