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How Banham Poultry is harnessing technology to combat coronavirus

PUBLISHED: 12:33 07 October 2020 | UPDATED: 15:55 07 October 2020

New pictures have shown how Banham Poultry in Attleborough is combatting coronavirus following an outbreak at the factory. Picture: The PHA Group

New pictures have shown how Banham Poultry in Attleborough is combatting coronavirus following an outbreak at the factory. Picture: The PHA Group

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A chicken factory where more than 100 employees contracted coronavirus is utilising state-of-the-art technology to prevent further outbreak.

The Banham Poultry factory in Attleborough, where there was a coronavirus outbreak. Picture: Joe Giddens/PA WireThe Banham Poultry factory in Attleborough, where there was a coronavirus outbreak. Picture: Joe Giddens/PA Wire

Banham Poultry, in Attleborough, experienced Norfolk’s largest single outbreak of Covid-19 as 130 out of 800 on-site employees tested positive for the virus.

Having initially shut on August 27 following a request from public health authorities, staff were permitted to return to work less than three weeks later on September 14.

But bosses said the factory’s newly-installed safety measures “rivalled some of the best hospitals in the country.”

New pictures have shown how Banham Poultry in Attleborough is combatting coronavirus following an outbreak at the factory. Picture: The PHA GroupNew pictures have shown how Banham Poultry in Attleborough is combatting coronavirus following an outbreak at the factory. Picture: The PHA Group

The company has invested in technology from sanitisation and disinfection expert, MYDIS, to ensure the Attleborough site is as Covid-secure as possible.

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.”

Banham Poultry, in Attleborough, experienced Norfolk's single largest coronavirus outbreak. Picture: Denise BradleyBanham Poultry, in Attleborough, experienced Norfolk's single largest coronavirus outbreak. Picture: Denise Bradley

Portals can now be found at the entrances to all its factories and offices, equipped with artificial intelligence and facial recognition technology to identify employees and check body temperatures.

The walk-in booths cover employees in a fine mist of vaporised disinfectant before they enter the building.

All staff facilities are being ‘fogged’ on a daily basis with handheld machines, with high-use areas including canteens and bathrooms sprayed three to four times a day.

New pictures have shown how Banham Poultry in Attleborough is combatting coronavirus following an outbreak at the factory. Picture: The PHA GroupNew pictures have shown how Banham Poultry in Attleborough is combatting coronavirus following an outbreak at the factory. Picture: The PHA Group

“Many of these measures, including MYDIS’ walk-in sanitising booths, will be permanent fixtures,” added Mr Van Rensburg.

“Only four of the staff who tested positive had coronavirus symptoms - and these developed after their positive tests.

“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.

Banham Poultry, in Attleborough, experienced Norfolk's single largest coronavirus outbreak. Picture: Denise BradleyBanham Poultry, in Attleborough, experienced Norfolk's single largest coronavirus outbreak. Picture: Denise Bradley

“Health inspectors have said our response is innovative, so we’re really proud of our collaboration to implement these solutions”.

Banham Poultry, remained operational throughout lockdown, until concerns grew over the severity of August’s outbreak.

While closed, the business had to dispose of two million birds and was estimated to have suffered a financial dent of around £4m.


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