Ireland-based multinational Fyffes reopened its UK ripening facility in Coventry that it had to close a few days ago following an outbreak of coronavirus among its staff.
The major banana supplier said it had carried out a deep-clean of the premises and opened for “normal business”.
“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,” the company said in a statement. Although the majority of results came back negative, as a precaution we suspended normal operations for 48 hours.
“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.”
During a 12-day stretched, Fyffes confirmed an additional 11 positive cases amongst employees. Through contact tracing, it identified a further 26 positive employees. The company says it asked them to self-isolate and informed “the local authorities straightaway.”
Fyffes found 22 more positive (though asymptomic) cases of COVID-19 during a testing of the remaining 182 employees. Fyffes says the original three employees who were feeling unwell have “recovered fully”.
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.