Health officials inspect Corby Tayto factory and ‘validate’ Covid-19 response

The factory was visited by HSE and NCC on Monday

Friday, 22nd May 2020, 10:30 am
Updated Friday, 22nd May 2020, 10:30 am
The Tayto factory's measures have been approved by the authorities

The Tayto factory in Corby was visited by the Health and Safety Executive and Northamptonshire County Council on Monday (May 18) after concerns about a number of staff coronavirus cases.

Last week, Corby MP Tom Pursglove said he had raised the outbreak with NCC, Corby Council and the local NHS CCG after being contacted by concerned constituents.

Today (Friday, May 22) a Tayto spokesman said: “Following Tayto approaching the relevant authorities, we had constructive and positive visits from HSE and Northamptonshire County Council Public Health on Monday.

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“These visits validated the measures that we have taken to manage the risks posed by Covid-19 and both agencies spoke to staff, including union representatives, who they found to be happy with the interventions we have made.”

HSE said on Monday that enquiries were ongoing at the factory. NCC have not responded to requests for comment.

The Tayto spokesman added: “As a follow-up to these visits, we also had a planned call with Public Health England, HSE and NCC on Tuesday which further confirmed no significant changes in our processes and procedures were required.”

A spokesman for PHE confirmed on Wednesday, May 20, that it was aware of coronavirus cases at Tayto in Corby, having previously said it had not been notified.

The PHE spokesman said: “After being approached by Tayto Group, Public Health England East Midlands (PHE EM) is aware that a number of employees at the Tayto factory in Corby have tested positive for COVID-19.

“PHE EM and Northamptonshire County Council are working closely with the management team at the factory.

“Tayto Group continues to follow Government guidance as well as specific advice they have been given on infection prevention measures to ensure that staff and the wider community are as safe as possible.”

Neither PHE nor Tayto would confirm the number of Covid-19 cases or specific measures taken by the factory, although staff say they have been told 16 have been confirmed.

Staff have described some recent interventions made at the factory, including a new one-way walking system around the factory which was implemented at the weekend to support social distancing.

Others have said there has also now been a reduction in production.

A number of staff have contacted the Northants Telegraph to express concerns about the situation at the factory.The spokesman for the crisp firm said: “The health and safety of our employees is Tayto’s number one priority.

“We continue to follow all government guidelines and monitor the evolving situation as well as working constructively with our union representatives from Usdaw and the relevant external authorities.”