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Coronavirus: Cases at North Yorkshire chocolate firm

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image captionThe company produces chocolates depicting children's cartoon and television characters.

A number of staff at a chocolate manufacturer have tested positive for Covid-19 at a site in North Yorkshire.

Kinnerton Confectionery said 16 of its 200 staff at its Sherburn in Elmet site had tested positive.

The company, owned by a German group which produces licensed sweets based on popular characters, said a "small number" of staff were self-isolating.

Site director Richard Bidder said the firm was working "proactively" with health and local authorities.

The factory is in the Selby district, named an "area of concern" by Public Health England on 18 September due to a rise in the number of cases.

Mr Bidder said the affected staff lived locally.

"We continue to work proactively with Public Health England (PHE) Yorkshire & Humber and North Yorkshire County Council who support our counter-measures and response," he said.

Mr Bidder said the company had implemented a number of control measures after carrying out a risk-based Covid-19 assessment in March.

It included increased sanitising, hand washing, additional deep cleaning, social distancing and changes to the timings of shift working to prevent overcrowding.

"The safety and well-being of our colleagues continues to be our number one priority and we are in regular contact with those affected to ensure they are supported," Mr Bidder added.

German-based group Zertus, which produces chocolates based on children's television characters such as Peppa Pig and Barbie, bought Kinnerton in 2012.

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