Two employees of UK-based Hilton Food Group have died after contracting Covid-19.

The workers were employed within the company’s Hilton Seafood division and were based at a processing facility in Grimsby in north-east England.

Hilton confirmed the two staff members died in the three days leading up to 2 March after testing positive for Covid-19.

In a statement sent to just-food, the company said: “Hilton Seafood is deeply saddened by the deaths of two of its staff over the past three days. Both were being treated at the Diana, Princess of Wales Hospital in Grimsby for Covid-19.

“We are in close contact with the families and will provide all the support we can at this difficult time.

“The safety of Hilton Seafood employees remains our number one priority. Working closely with Public Health England, we have maintained an intense focus on Covid-19 security, including weekly on-site testing for the disease, to identify and isolate asymptomatic cases.”

Hilton, which is best-known as a meat business, entered the seafood market in late 2017 when it bought Grimsby-based Icelandic Food Group, which traded as Seachill. It was the company behind the brand The Saucy Fish Co.

The former Seachill factory in Grimsby, where the deceased staff members worked, employs more than 300 people.

Last week, the local North East Lincolnshire Council confirmed the area has seen a spike in Covid-19 cases following outbreaks in factories including Hilton’s.

It has established an outbreak control group in partnership with the company and Public Health England to bring the outbreak under control.