Whitby Seafoods, the UK-based scampi supplier to major supermarkets, has closed a factory in Northern Ireland after scores of workers contracted coronavirus.

The plant operated by Kilkeel Seafoods in County Down has confirmed 42 cases among staff out of a total employee count of 250 at the site, which peels and prepares scampi tails. Family-run Whitby Seafoods’ Kilkeel Harbour plant was closed on 1 July for deep cleaning and remains shut.

How well do you really know your competitors?

Access the most comprehensive Company Profiles on the market, powered by GlobalData. Save hours of research. Gain competitive edge.

Company Profile – free sample

Thank you!

Your download email will arrive shortly

Not ready to buy yet? Download a free sample

We are confident about the unique quality of our Company Profiles. However, we want you to make the most beneficial decision for your business, so we offer a free sample that you can download by submitting the below form

By GlobalData
Visit our Privacy Policy for more information about our services, how we may use, process and share your personal data, including information of your rights in respect of your personal data and how you can unsubscribe from future marketing communications. Our services are intended for corporate subscribers and you warrant that the email address submitted is your corporate email address.

In a statement, Whitby Seafoods, which is headquartered in the seaside town of the same name in North Yorkshire, instructed its staff to take PCR tests from Sunday 4 July through to yesterday as a preventative measure after the 42 positive tests.

The facility was due to close for a staff holiday this month, so the company has decided to keep the plant shut until 19 July.

Whitby Seafoods said it had been “working under strict Covid guidelines, employing stringent use of social distancing and protective equipment. Procedures are being put in place to re-open safely and protect the workforce and other stakeholders.”

The business supplies scampi to Tesco, Sainsbury, Morrisons and Asda. The company produces scampi from langoustines caught around the British Isles.

A “small number of staff” who have tested negative for the virus will be on-site during the lockdown at Kilkeel Harbour.

“The staff will be working solely in the office and the prawn intake areas of the site to undertake tail freezing,” the statement read. “This will allow the prawn fishing fleet to continue to land directly to the firm. Supporting the fishing effort has been a priority for the firm though out the pandemic.”