Coronavirus outbreak hits Bernard Matthews turkey factory in Suffolk

Public health staff are working with senior managers at Bernard Matthews to protect staff and the community after eighteen employees testing positive for COVID-19.

The staff and their contacts, all working at the company’s turkey processing facility in Holton, near Halesworth, are now self-isolating at home and being supported by Bernard Matthews and public sector agencies.

Bernard Matthews has had extensive controls in place to manage and reduce COVID-19 infections since March 2020. These are continuing and include regular temperature checks, staff working in bubbles, COVID marshals, masks and visors and social distancing throughout the site.

Approximately 100 members of staff have been tested, with most returning negative results. Additional testing is taking place this week.

Food production and safety is unaffected by these cases being identified.

Officials from Suffolk County Council, Public Health Suffolk, Public Health England, Public Health Norfolk, East Suffolk Council, Norfolk and Waveney Clinical Commissioning Group and Bernard Matthews are working together to manage the situation.

It is understood that of the 18 employees who have tested positive, and who are now self-isolating, the majority live in the Great Yarmouth and Lowestoft areas. 

A spokesperson for Bernard Matthews said: “We are grateful for the help of all local agencies and we fully support their objectives to protect the local community. We believe these small number of cases were initiated in the community, but nevertheless we will continue to enforce our robust COVID measures as we enter into our busiest period of the year.”

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