THE owners of a food plant associated with an outbreak of coronavirus in Wrexham said a two-day visit found “no serious issues” that need addressing.

The Rowan Foods factory has remained in operation since workers and members of their households tested positive for the virus.

There are 166 confirmed coronavirus cases associated with the outbreak, although the plant itself is not thought to be the source. More than 1,000 people have been tested.

A spokesman for Rowan Foods said: “On Thursday 25th June 2020 we welcomed the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) onto site to conduct a two-day visit specifically around COVID-19 practices on site to ensure we continue to operate safely for all our people. 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."

Meanwhile, Public Health Wales is attempting to locate 300 workers from Rowan Foods who have not been tested as a matter of urgency.

Dr Giri Shankar, Incident Director for the Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak response at Public Health Wales, said:

“Testing of the workforce associated with an outbreak of Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) in the Wrexham area is continuing.

“Public Health Wales is in the process of combining test information to identify the total number of positive cases associated with the workforce at Rowan Foods Ltd. So far this process has identified a total of 166 confirmed cases.

“The number of cases reported today suggests no change has occurred in the past 24 hours. However, we expect this number to go up once all the workers associated with the site have been tested and their results analysed.

“We are working with Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board to urgently contact just over 300 workers that have not yet presented for testing.

“As we would expect with any focused track and trace process, we will identify additional asymptomatic cases. Finding these cases does not mean that the rate of infection in the Wrexham area is increasing as a whole.

“There is no evidence that Rowan Foods is the source of the outbreak. The multi-agency team managing the outbreak with Public Health Wales will continue to review the situation and work with the employer, their workforce and wider community to bring this outbreak to a swift conclusion.

At Friday’s Welsh Government briefing, First Minister Mark Drakeford said that the outbreaks at Wrexham and at the 2 Sisters plant in Llangefni was a warning that coronavirus has not gone away.

“These outbreaks are a sobering reminder that coronavirus has not gone away,” he said.

The First Minister said he has spoken to Unite about the outbreak at Rowan Foods.

He said: “I made it clear that the outbreak control team must take the views of union members at that factory seriously, because if you want to understand what is happening on the factory floor then the representatives of the workers who are there need to be heard.”

On Friday, Dr Robin Howe, incident director for the Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak response at Public Health Wales, said: “Testing of the workforce associated with an outbreak of Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) in the Wrexham area is continuing.

“We are in the process of combining information to identify the full scope of the ongoing testing process and total number of positive cases.

“To date a total of 166 cases have been identified, an increase of 69 cases reported in the past 24 hours.

“The identification of additional cases does not mean that the infection is increasing.

“However, it also reminds us that COVID-19 has not gone away and remains in the community.

“Rapid contact tracing also continues, and as expected, is identifying additional cases associated with the workforce."