A second employee at a UK salad plant owned by private-label major Bakkavor has died after contracting Covid-19.

A statement sent by the company to UK broadcaster the BBC  confirmed the death at the Bakkavor Tilmanstone Salads facility in Kent, south of London.

“This member of staff had been away from the workplace since 11 November and reported in for sick leave following a period of annual leave,” the statement said.

It is the second fatality amongst workers at the plant announced this week.

On Tuesday (1 December) it was revealed a worker at the facility, which supplies Marks & Spencer, had died after testing positive for Covid-19 while scores of workers are off with the virus or self isolating.

In a statement issued today (3 December), the GMB union, which represents workers at the facility, said positive cases had “rocketed” from 35 in the third week of November to 99 now. 

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By GlobalData

The factory has 800 employees.

GMB has called for the company to offer full pay to anyone taking Covid-related absence, mass testing for staff and to perform a deep clean at the factory. 

Frank Macklin, GMB organiser, said: “Sadly a second worker had died in a Covid-19 related fatality. GMB’s thoughts and sympathies are with their family and loved ones. 

“Bakkavor Tilmanstone Salads had only experienced a few positive cases of covid-19 before November, but we have now seen the virus sweep through the factory at an alarming rate in just over four weeks.” 

just-food has asked Bakkavor for further details.