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Banham Poultry: Covid outbreak factory loses £4m worth of chicken

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  • Coronavirus pandemic

Chickens

image copyrightAFP

image captionBanham Poultry reopened on last week after it closed in August

The boss of a chicken factory hit by a coronavirus outbreak said the firm had to get rid of almost £4m worth of birds.

Banham Poultry, based in Attleborough, Norfolk, had to close on 27 August but reopened last week.

More than 120 of its staff have tested positive for Covid-19 and the shutdown cost the business about £2m a week,

Managing director Blaine van Rensburg said: “It does put the company in danger.”

But he said the firm was “working with the government whether there can be any [financial] support” and there were no plans for closure.

  • What do we know about the Banham Poultry outbreak?

  • Poultry factory reopens after Covid outbreak
  • Covid outbreak staff ‘turned up for work sick’

The closure of the factory meant 2.2m chickens were not processed and the company had to cull about 380,000.

Mr van Rensburg said the total stock loss was £3.8m.

“I don’t think there are many business that can sustain a £3.8m hit to their income”, he added.

Banham Poultry has introduced thermal imaging and a dry disinfectant mist through which staff and visitors enter, and a one-way system across the entire site.

Mr van Rensburg said the staff were “safer on our site than they would be going into any supermarket in town”.

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