A MEAT factory near Ellesmere is working with Shropshire Council and Public Health England (PHE) after cases of Covid-19 were confirmed in workers.

ABP Food Group, based in Hordely, is also liaising with the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) and Food Standards Agency (FSA), following confirmation of cases of Covid-19.

In line with NHS guidance, any affected individuals are being asked to self-isolate at home for seven days, with members of their households to isolate for 14 days.

Dr Adrian Phillips, PHE Midlands consultant in communicable disease control, said the company was working with health professionals to tackle the outbreak.

He said: "The management at ABP Food Group is co-operating fully with public health professionals and members of the HSE and FSA, to protect the health and wellbeing of their workforce.

"As we would expect at this stage of a pandemic, there have been cases among the workforce, as the virus is present in the local community.

"The company put extensive measures in place from the start of the pandemic, and public health partners are working with the business to assess if any further measures should be implemented in the workplace and looking at the picture in the wider community."

A spokesperson from ABP Food Group reaffirmed the lengths gone to make the plant safe for workers.

"The health and wellbeing of our staff is of the utmost importance, so we have been keen to co-operate in whatever way possible with PHE, the council, the FSA and HSE," they said.

"As soon as restrictions were announced by the government, we put extensive measures in place to reduce the risk of our staff catching Covid-19, many of which went above and beyond the national guidance, including the installation of Perspex screens at workstations and provision of PPE, including visors."

Meanwhile, Rachel Robinson, Shropshire Council's director of public health, added the health and safety of communities was the council's key priority.

"We are aware of the cases of Covid-19 at ABP Foods and are working with PHE to support the company," she said.

"A rapid response is providing vital information to help minimise the further spread of the virus in Shropshire.

"At this time, we would also like to remind everyone to follow the current government guidance on social distancing, minimising their social interaction with other people, maintaining good hand hygiene by washing hands regularly for at least 20 seconds, and covering mouth and nose with a tissue when coughing or sneezing.

"Adhering to this advice is the best protection against the virus.

"Please stay safe, be responsible and together we can reduce the spread of this coronavirus.