26/06/2020 - Permalink

Coronavirus: Response to cases of COVID-19 at a Shropshire food processing company

Related topics: Coronavirus / Health / Partner organisations

Shropshire Council is working with Public Health England (PHE) Midlands and ABP Food Group in Shropshire, and liaising with the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) and Food Standards Agency (FSA), following confirmation of cases of COVID-19 at the food production company.

In line with NHS guidance, any affected individuals are being asked to self-isolate at home for seven days, with members of their households to isolate for 14 days.

Dr Adrian Phillips, PHE Midlands Consultant in Communicable Disease Control, said:

“The management at ABP Food Group is co-operating fully with public health professionals and members of the HSE and FSA, to protect the health and wellbeing of their workforce.

“As we would expect at this stage of a pandemic, there have been cases among the workforce, as the virus is present in the local community. The company put extensive measures in place from the start of the pandemic, and public health partners are working with the business to assess if any further measures should be implemented in the workplace and looking at the picture in the wider community.”

A spokesperson from ABP Food Group said:

“The health and wellbeing of our staff is of the utmost importance, so we have been keen to co-operate in whatever way possible with PHE, the council, the FSA and HSE.

“As soon as restrictions were announced by the Government, we put extensive measures* in place to reduce the risk of our staff catching COVID-19, many of which went above and beyond the national guidance, including the installation of Perspex screens at workstations and provision of PPE, including visors.”

Rachel Robinson, Shropshire Council’s director of public health, said:-

“The health and safety of our communities is our absolute key priority.

“We are aware of the cases of COVID-19 at ABP Foods and are working with Public Health England to support the company. A rapid response is providing vital information to help minimise the further spread of the virus in Shropshire.

“At this time, we would also like to remind everyone to follow the current Government guidance on social distancing, minimising their social interaction with other people, maintaining good hand hygiene by washing hands regularly for at least 20 seconds, and covering mouth and nose with a tissue when coughing or sneezing. Adhering to this advice is the best protection against the virus. Please stay safe, be responsible and together we can reduce the spread of this coronavirus.”

It is everyone’s responsibility to try to help prevent the spread of COVID-19, so please continue to follow the Government guidelines. Read more on what you should do online.

Further information

For more information contact

ABP Foods – hannah.cambridge@fhflondon.co.uk

PHE – cam.morgan@phe.gov.uk

Shropshire Council – communications@shropshire.gov.uk

  1. *ABP Foods put a range of health protection measures in place from the start of the pandemic, including:
  • COVID-19 response teams established at each site since the end of February
  • Detailed risk assessments regularly reviewed
  • Increased frequency of multi-lingual briefings to all staff
  • Employees are instructed not to come to work if they have symptoms of COVID-19
  • Extensive temperature screening taken each morning before staff entry on-site
  • Elimination of non-essential movement across sites
  • Staggered breaks and lunches with physical distancing implemented
  • Additional canteen capacity to facilitate social distancing.
  • Additional and enhanced cleaning and disinfection of contact surfaces and communal areas
  • Changes implemented to workstations, where feasible, to facilitate physical distancing
  • Installation of Perspex screens at workstations where appropriate.
  • Provision of PPE including visors for all appropriate staff.
  • Multi-lingual COVID-19 signage and notices across all plants
  • Administration and office staff working remotely where possible
  • Enhanced protocols with respect to inbound animal transport
  • Enhanced outbound protocols for product dispatch
  • All non-essential site visits cancelled
  • Immediate internal contact-tracing process implemented should any employee display Covid-19 symptoms.
  1. The risk of contracting novel coronavirus (COVID-19) through the UK food chain is very low. There is currently no evidence to suggest transmission occurs through the foodborne route, therefore people are very unlikely to catch COVID-19 from food.
  1. Public Health England (PHE) exists to protect and improve the nation’s health and wellbeing and reduce health inequalities. We do this through world-leading science, knowledge and intelligence, advocacy, partnerships and the delivery of specialist public health services. We are an executive agency of the Department of Health and Social Care, and a distinct delivery organisation with operational autonomy. We provide the Government, local government, the NHS, Parliament, industry and the public with evidence-based professional, scientific and delivery expertise and support.

Website: www.gov.uk /phe   Facebook: PublicHealthEngland

Follow us on Twitter @PHE_UK   @PHE_WestMids

  1. PHE Midlands would like to remind people about the guidance for self-isolation.

Self-isolate if:

  • you have any symptoms of coronavirus (a high temperature, a new, continuous cough, or a loss or change to your sense of smell or taste)
  • you’re waiting for a coronavirus test result
  • you’ve tested positive for coronavirus – this means you have coronavirus
  • you live with someone who has symptoms, is waiting for a test result or has tested positive. 

If you’re self-isolating, you and anyone you live with must not leave your home:

  • do not go to work, school or public places – work from home if you can
  • do not go on public transport or use taxis
  • do not go out to get food and medicine – order it online or by phone, or ask someone to bring it to your home
  • do not have visitors in your home, including friends and family – except for people providing essential care
  • do not go out to exercise – exercise at home or in your garden, if you have one.
  1. Further information on self-isolation:


  1. Information on getting a test if you suspect you have COVID-19:


  1. Information on symptoms of COVID-19:


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Shropshire Council wants to keep you as up to date and informed as possible. To help us do this, we have developed a coronavirus update that will be sent daily at 8pm via email to anyone who has signed up to our e-bulletins.

This update includes the day’s key Shropshire Council news, and some key news from our partners, relating to coronavirus-linked issues. Please click here to sign up for the updates.

Please do encourage your family and friends to sign up to the updates too. This will help us keep everyone up to date with the rapidly-evolving crisis.