Fyffes UK site reopens after deep clean following Covid-19 outbreak
Ireland-based multinational has reopened its UK ripening facility that it had to close a few days ago following a Covid-19 outbreak among its staff.
The major banana supplier said it had carried out a deep-clean of the premises and opened on Wednesday for "normal business".
In a statement, Fyffes said: "Over the past two weeks, three employees at Fyffes Coventry were feeling unwell and got tested for COVID-19 and those tests came back positive.
"Between 3 August and 14 August, we confirmed a further 11 positive cases amongst our employees. Through contact tracing, Fyffes management identified a further 26 employees; we asked them to self-isolate. We informed the local authorities straightaway who have provided immediate assistance."
The company then tested the remaining 182 employees, of whom 22 tested positive for the virus but are asymptomatic.
The original three employees who were feeling unwell have "recovered fully".
"Although the majority of results came back negative, as a precaution we suspended normal operations for 48 hours," Fyffes said.
"The site has reopened for normal business activity as of [Wednesday 19 August. During the past two days additional deep cleaning of the entire workplace, and enhanced disinfection measures has been undertaken with support from a small skeleton staff, as agreed with public health officials. Nothing is more important than the health and safety of our people."
The company highlighted that since March it has implemented Covid-19 safety measures across all its ripening centers in the UK, including social distancing, regular deep-cleaning and the provision of PPE.
"Throughout this process we have supported our employees financially to ensure they are not disadvantaged by following government guidelines and best practice in the management of this virus," it said.