UK private-label major Bakkavor has seen more than 70 employees at a desserts facility in England test positive for the Covid-19 virus.

The firm, which supplies fresh food to many of the UK’s major grocers, will now test all 1,600 workers at the site in Newark, Nottinghamshire in the east Midlands for coronavirus symptoms.

The UK’s The Guardian newspaper reported that it was announced on 7 August that all staff would be tested after 39 cases were detected, but that figure has risen to 72 after 701 employees at the Bakkavor site in Newark were examined. 

However, 33 fit and healthy staff have returned to work after isolating.

Testing will continue until Wednesday (19 August) to enable all 1,600 employees to be included at an on-site testing station run by the NHS.

just-food has asked Bakkavor to comment on the outbreak.

Earlier this month, Bakkavor blamed coronavirus and lost business at the start of the year for its decision to close a salad facility at Spalding, Lincolnshire, also in the east Midlands.

Some 500 people are impacted by the decision.