Posted: Sat 27th Jun 2020

Rowan Foods say HSE Inspector visit ends with ‘no enforceable action taken’ for people living in or visiting the wrexham area

The factory at the centre of the second coronavirus outbreak in Wales has had an inspection amid concern over the rising confirmed case figures connected to the ‘flare up’.

Oscar Mayer, the owners of Rowan Foods, have said a team from the Health and Safety Executive were ‘welcomed’ the to factory site on Thursday to conduct a two day visit specifically around COVID-19 practices on site “to ensure we continue to operate safely for all our people”.

Oscar Mayer said, “This was an in-depth review of our risk assessment and measures implemented to protect our people, and our ongoing management of COVID-19 onsite.”

“The visit went well and the HSE Inspector left site on Friday 26th June with no enforceable action taken. This confirms that we have no serious issues which need addressing and we continue to comply with the law.”

“The team on site remain positive through these unprecedented times and we are exceptionally grateful for the ongoing support of all our colleagues. We remain thankful that our colleagues remain generally well despite the positive COVID diagnosis, we are also grateful to those who are isolating and supporting the business by remaining at home. We are pleased that despite higher than usual absence levels operational performance is being maintained and we are continuing to service to our customers with all orders being fulfilled, with the site remaining open as usual.”

Yesterday the Health Minister Vaughan Gething told us a report was expected after an inspection, ““We have had a team go in to inspect the business. We will have that report, then will have a conversation with the employer, the health service, the Health and Safety Executive and the Food Standards Agency. We will also be talking to the trade union side to get a broad picture of intelligence around what’s happening.”

“If it’s clear that the right thing to do from a public health point of view, to ask that business to close, we’ll do that. If that request doesn’t go ahead, then we’ve got powers to close this, or any other business. So we’re not looking to go after Rowan Foods, and we’re not at a point where we’d say that there’s any blame attaching to this, far from it.”

“It’s the reality for any business that may be affected and what we might need to do to protect the business, and the business’s employees and workers, but also the wider community in which they operate in.”

Wrexham’s Senedd Member, Lesley Griffiths said: “The situation at Rowan Foods remains extremely concerning. Testing of the workforce has continued throughout this week and rapid contact tracing is also taking place.”

“The outbreak reminds us all coronavirus has not gone away. It is vitally important people continue to observe social distancing guidance and if you have symptoms, you must stay at home and self-isolate.”

“I will continue to monitor the situation closely and work with the relevant authorities. I am also meeting again with Vaughan Gething MS, the Welsh Government Health Minister, on Monday.”

The latest data released yesterday lunchtime has 166 confirmed coronavirus cases linked to the local outbreak with ‘over 1000’ tests taking place.

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