More virus cases confirmed during test scheme at dessert factory

More cases of Covid-19 have been confirmed at a dessert factory in Newark after more than 1,200 employees were tested last week.

Bakkavor Desserts tested 1,262 staff members at its Jessop Way base in response to a rise in the number of positive Covid-19 tests at its site.

Nottinghamshire County Council worked with the management team at Bakkavor to set up the testing programme, with the company testing more than 1,130 people a week earlier.

Prior to the testing scheme last week, 86 cases had been confirmed at the Newark factory. However, following further tests, this total now stands at 98.

This means a further 12 employees at Bakkavor have tested positive for the virus, with the company confirming that eight of these were picked up by the internal testing scheme.

A spokesperson for the company said: “The total number tested was 1,262. That excludes those on holiday, working from home, furloughed, sickness and self-isolating.

“The total number of positive cases since the pandemic began is 98, which includes 33 from the testing programme. 59 are now back in work.”

The company set up its internal testing scheme alongside Nottinghamshire County Council following a rise in the number of positive cases of the virus.

Shona Taylor, business director for desserts at Bakkavor, said: “We understand the importance of the testing and I have been immensely proud of the management team and all the efforts that have been made to ensure we could deliver this for our colleagues.

“The programme has been positively received, and colleagues have been supportive and reassured that every effort is being taken to ensure their safety.”

Jonathan Gribbin, director of Public Health at Nottinghamshire County Council, said there had been a ‘great uptake’ of tests at the factory since the facility was set up on August 12.

Speaking of the current situation, he said: “We are pleased to say that we have had a really great uptake of testing and Bakkavor as an employer and their employees have worked really well with this.

“On the basis of what we know at Bakkavor we have evidence of them having some really good controls in place to manage the physical environment, but what we do have evidence of is transmission out in the community.

“So it is important that we continue looking and focusing on both and our behaviours as individuals.”


Nottinghamshire Live – Local News