THREE members of staff at a Barnsley food factory have died from coronavirus.

Cranswick, which employs 1,300 at its factory at Valley Park industrial estate in Wombwell, confirmed nine workers have contracted the virus.

A spokesman for Cranswick said: "The health and safety of all of our colleagues is our number one priority and we are doing everything we can to protect our workforce.

"Sadly, three of our colleagues have passed away with Covid-19. Our thoughts and condolences are with their families and we are providing full support to them and to all of our colleagues directly affected by Covid-19.

“From the outset of the pandemic, we implemented additional measures to protect both the physical and mental wellbeing of our people, including social distancing measures where practical, recommended PPE for all employees in line with PHE and WHO guidelines, additional cleaning and hygiene measures, as well as support such as counselling and occupational health services.”

The national firm said it has implemented various social distancing and PPE measures at its Wombwell site, and is going ‘above and beyond’ to support the workers’ families.

"All colleagues are also advised not to attend work if they have any symptoms,” added the spokesman.

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"We continue to work with the relevant regulatory bodies including the HSE (Health & Safety Executive), PHE (Public Health England), the FSA (Food Standards Agency) and local EHO representatives (Environmental Health Officers) during these challenging times.

“Cranswick employees are designated key workers and are at the forefront of maintaining vital supplies of fresh food into the supermarkets. We are doing everything we can to protect them while they carry out this critical role.”