Processed Food: Coronavirus

Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy written question – answered on 19th May 2020.

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Photo of Daniel Poulter Daniel Poulter Conservative, Central Suffolk and North Ipswich

To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what plans his Department has to reduce the spread of covid-19 in food processing businesses.

Photo of Paul Scully Paul Scully Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy), Minister of State (London)

On 11 May, we published guidance for businesses to help ensure workplaces are as safe as possible. This guidance covered a range or work environments including in factories, plants and warehouse covering food processing businesses and can be found at www.gov.uk/workingsafely.

The published guidance sets out how businesses should carry out risk assessments and suggestions for practical steps they can consider to mitigate the risks identified related to COVID-19, including how to reduce the spread of the disease.

If a business is not operating in line with the Government guidance, there is a role for the relevant health and safety enforcing authority - the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) or Local Authority. Where the enforcing authority identifies employers who are not taking action to comply with the relevant public health legislation and guidance to control public health risks, for example, employers not taking appropriate action to socially distance, the enforcing authority will consider taking a range of actions to improve control of workplace risks. These actions include the provision of specific advice to employers through to issuing enforcement notices to help secure improvements with the guidance.

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