Coronavirus outbreak at Aunt Bessie's Yorkshire pudding factory as worker taken seriously ill

Chris Parsons
·News Editor
·3 min read
A worker at the Aunt Bessie's factory in Hull, which employs around 400 people. (BMP Media/Reach)
A worker at the Aunt Bessie's factory in Hull, which employs around 400 people. (BMP Media/Reach)

An outbreak of coronavirus has been confirmed at one of the UK’s biggest Yorkshire pudding factories.

Bosses at the Aunt Bessie’s facility in Hull said a ‘small number’ of workers had tested positive, with one understood to be seriously ill.

The unwell employee was hospitalised and a second is recovering at home, the company said.

Both workers are believed to have displayed COVID-19 symptoms and had tests before going into isolation.

The firm then conducted a deep clean of its site on Hull’s Brighton Street industrial estate.

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Aunt Bessie’s, famed for its Yorkshire puddings and desserts, said they have "followed and gone beyond the guidance" set out by public health bodies.

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The company, which is thought to employ around 400 people, has also implemented its own track and trace procedure to identify anyone who may have come into contact with the infected workers.

It is understood that the first employee told bosses that they were feeling unwell last Thursday - the day before the second began showing symptoms.

The news also led the Government's track and trace team to get to work speaking to the employees.

The factory is located on an industrial estate in Hull. (BPM Media/Reach)
The factory is located on an industrial estate in Hull. (BPM Media/Reach)

A spokesperson for Aunt Bessie’s said: "We continue to follow the guidance of national health authorities very strictly.

"Currently, our Aunt Bessie’s factory has a small number of coronavirus cases, but PHE has repeatedly complimented us on our social distancing measures and our proactive approach to ensuring that our colleagues are safe and well.

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"The health and welfare of our employees is our number one priority.

"We acted early and decisively in March to implement new procedures and have strict protocols at all of our sites, including our Hull Aunt

Bessie’s factory, to reduce the risk of coronavirus spreading amongst our employees."

The statement adds: "Our production facilities have always been regularly sanitised, and we introduced additional sanitisation and facility cleans in early March.

The firm said they had gone 'above and beyond' national guidance on coronavirus. (BMP Media/Reach)
The firm said they had gone 'above and beyond' national guidance on coronavirus. (BMP Media/Reach)

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"Other measures in place at our Aunt Bessie’s facility include floorspace segregation, the use of thermal infrared cameras to detect signs of high temperature, use of Perspex barriers in some areas and mandatory wearing of face masks.

Hull City Council has confirmed its involvement with dealing with the outbreak, stating the risk to the public is "very low".

According to the most recent data published by Public Health England, Hull has a rate of 10.8 coronavirus cases per 100,000 people, putting it well down the list of local authorities suffering most from the virus.

Hull had 28 new cases of coronavirus in the last seven days, according to the data.