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July 3, 2020

Asda meat factory in northern England ‘stays open despite Covid-19 cases’

A meat factory in northern England owned by retailer Asda is reportedly remaining open despite a number of Covid-19 cases.

By Dean Best

A meat factory in northern England owned by retailer Asda reportedly has a number of Covid-19 cases but remains operational.

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Seventeen workers have tested positive at the Forza Foods facility in Normanton, West Yorkshire, with further potential cases under investigation, according to the BBC, which added a further 300 staff have been offered tests and have been told to self-isolate.

The news service quoted an Asda spokesperson as saying local health authorities were “satisfied with the safety precautions” in place.

Another media report said the Leeds-headquartered supermarket had been in consultation with Public Health England, Wakefield Council and the Health and Safety Executive amid the outbreak.

“As soon as we became aware that some colleagues had tested positive we alerted the relevant authorities,” the Asda spokesperson told the BBC. “The number of colleagues that have tested positive represents just 1% of the total workforce at the site and almost all are employed on one particular shift.”

The spokesperson said the local authority and the Health and Safety Executive had both inspected the site on Devilliers Way, which employs more than 1,000 people to slice and pack cooked meat.

Another of Asda’s meat suppliers, Kober Ltd., which the retailer acquired in 2016 along with Forza, had also earlier been hit by the virus. That plant, located in Kirklees, West Yorkshire, was forced to close temporarily after more than 100 employees tested positive but then reopened on a reduced-capacity basis in June. 

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What is the impact of China’s Zero-COVID lockdowns on economic activity, consumer goods and the foodservice industry?

While wanting to protect the country from being overwhelmed by Omicron, China’s adherence to a Zero-COVID policy is resulting in a significant economic downturn. COVID outbreaks in Shanghai, Beijing and many other Chinese cities will impact 2022’s economic growth as consumers and businesses experience rolling lockdowns, leading to a slowdown in domestic and international supply chains. China’s Zero-COVID policy is having a demonstrable impact on consumer-facing industries. Access GlobalData’s new whitepaper, China in 2022: the impact of China’s Zero-COVID lockdowns on economic activity, consumer goods and the foodservice industry, to examine the current situation in Shanghai and other cities in China, to better understand the worst-affected industry sectors, foodservice in particular, and to explore potential growth opportunities as China recovers. The white paper covers:
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  • What is the effect of lockdowns on Chinese ports?
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  • How might the Chinese government react?
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