Four workers at a Black Country chicken processing plant have been treated for tuberculosis, it has emerged.
The employees, who work for West Bromwich’s 2 Sisters Food Group, have responded successfully to treatment, Public Health England (PHE) officials said yesterday.
As a precautionary measure, staff who may have come into contact with infected workers are being checked for the disease.
A Protection Team for PHE in the West Midlands are working closely with management from the Dial Lane business and Sandwell Council to arrange information sessions and screening.
Dr Naveed Syed, from PHE, said: “Testing will be conducted as a precaution and we are working closely with the management of 2 Sisters Food Group Ltd to ensure the best advice and support is provided for all staff members.
“TB is a serious disease, but the risk of catching the infection is small. It generally requires prolonged and close contact with somebody who has TB, such as someone living in the same house, and it can be completely cured with a course of antibiotics.
“There is absolutely no risk of TB being transferred in any other way, so these cases have no impact whatsoever on the quality of goods processed at the factory.”
A spokesman from 2 Sisters Good Group Ltd said: “We take the health and wellbeing of our workforce very seriously and we are keen to assist Public Health England in any way we can to reassure employees and provide them with any information or support necessary.
“As a precautionary measure, we are working with PHE to co-ordinate some educational materials and screening sessions on site. As the experts at PHE have informed us, there is absolutely no impact on food quality or safety, so it’s very much business as usual at the site.”
Letters are being sent out to employees and a number of former employees, with information about TB and a dedicated helpline number.
- Anybody wanting further advice can call Sandwell TB Nurses on 0121 507 2858 or log onto www.hpa.org.uk