According to the Yorkshire Evening Post, the Doncaster KFC Sprotbrough restaurant employee tested positive for the virus on June 20. A KFC spokesperson told the paper the incident was “isolated” but the three other members of staff who “were in contact with the affected team member” at the restaurant were self-isolating as a precaution.
Here’s what you need to know:
A Co-Worker ‘Collapsed’ While on Shift, Colleagues Say
Doncaster KFC worker 'collapsed' before testing positive for Covid-19 https://t.co/L2tv1BzLfo
— Friends of KFC (@FriendsofKFC) June 24, 2020
Examiner Live U.K. reported that the staff member had collapsed while working a shift on June 13 “before giving a positive test result and emergency services were called to the scene.”
The Doncaster Free Press said it was “colleagues [who] allege the worker collapsed while on shift.”
The article said:
The Doncaster Free Press received anonymous reports from colleagues at the restaurant who allege [a] woman who tested positive for Covid-19 collapsed while on shift on June 13 and paramedics were called to the scene.
KFC … have not confirmed whether the employee who contracted the virus collapsed while working at the branch.
Employees who wish to remain anonymous say they are still concerned about their own health and safety after they allege no self-isolation measures have been implemented since the diagnosis.
Examiner Live reported that the restaurant “remains open.”
COVID-19 Outbreaks Were Recently Reported at Fast Food Plants in the U.K.
51 workers catch Covid-19 at KFC and M&S meat plant in Angleseyhttps://t.co/V28JJnVipT
— BBC News (UK) (@BBCNews) June 18, 2020
The incident follows the announcement of a coronavirus outbreak at fast food plants in the U.K.
On June 18 the BBC reported “nearly 100 workers at two factories” had tested positive at plants supplying chicken to food outlets across England and Wales, including supermarkets Marks & Spencer, Aldi, Asda, Co-op, Morrisons, Sainsbury’s, Tesco and Waitrose.
Rowan Foods in Wrexham and 2 Sisters chicken factory in Anglesey had 38 and 58 cases respectively. 2 Sisters supplies chicken to KFC, according to the BBC. The factory had suspended production following the outbreak, and workers had been required to self-isolate for a period of 14 days. Rowan Foods confirmed 38 of its 1,500 staff had tested positive for coronavirus.
2 Sisters said in a statement:
In light of the current Covid-19 cases at our Llangefni site, we have decided to take the necessary action to clearly demonstrate how seriously we take this issue by doing the right thing.
Doing the right thing means from today [18 June] we will temporarily suspend production at our Llangefni site with immediate effect for a period of 14 days.
We will not tolerate any unnecessary risks – however small – for our existing loyal workforce at the facility.
Welsh politician and journalist Rhun ap Iorwerth confirmed the outbreak.
Spoken with 2 Sisters management this morning – decision taken late last night to suspend operations at the chicken processing plant in #Llangefni following significant #covid19 outbreak. It's the correct decision to safeguard staff and the public.
— Rhun ap Iorwerth (@RhunapIorwerth) June 18, 2020
Wales Trade Union Congress called the outbreak “alarming.”
We’re really alarmed to see a pattern of workplace outbreaks in food manufacturing emerging.
We’ve had long-held fears about H&S in this industry during the crisis and the risks posed to these key workers, who work in an industry with some of the lowest rates of ave. pay. 1/2 https://t.co/RhGFHpbYHE
— Wales TUC Cymru (@walestuc) June 18, 2020
Outbreaks Have Also Occurred at Processing Plants in the U.S.
We’re honored to donate more than 115,000 face shields to healthcare workers at nursing homes and local hospitals as part of our ongoing community response to COVID-19. To all the frontline healthcare workers, thank you for your efforts. https://t.co/UwEjOebqFf pic.twitter.com/6sQV9kf80D
— Smithfield Foods (@SmithfieldFoods) June 23, 2020
In the U.S., workers have died from coronavirus outbreaks in meat processing plants, including a Smithfield Foods pork processing plant in South Dakota, a JBS meatpacking plant in Colorado and a Tyson Foods plant in Iowa.
The Argus Leader initially reported on March 26 that a “Smithfield Foods employee in Sioux Falls has tested positive for COVID-19.” At the time he confirmed the incident, CEO Kenneth Sullivan told the outlet “Smithfield would maintain normal operations during the pandemic.”
The BBC reported that by April 15, “when Smithfield finally closed under pressure from the South Dakota governor’s office, the plant had become the number one hotspot in the US, with a cluster of 644 confirmed cases among Smithfield employees and people who contracted it from them. In total, Smithfield-related infections account for 55% of the caseload in the state.”
The first employee from the plant died in hospital in April. “A JBS meatpacking plant in Colorado has shut after five deaths and 103 infections among its employees,” while “two workers at a Tyson Foods plant in Iowa also died [and] 148 others were sickened,” the BBC said.
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