Food production firm shares advice for safe working

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Norwich-based crisp company Kettle Foods has made a number of changes to allow its production to continue throughout lockdown. Here they share some ideas to help other businesses which are preparing to reopen:

“As a processing site, we have multiple work areas all of which we have re-assessed against the risk of spread of COVID-19 and adapted the site where pinch points or processes have required us to,” said Darren Mickleburgh at Kettle Foods.

Some examples of new working include:

  • 2-metre social distancing rules briefed to all staff with use of signage and some demarcation to help with visual recognition of what 2 meters looks like
  • Continued auditing of distancing with staff encouraged to promote good behaviour and challenge where improvements could be made through safety conversations
  • Physical barriers at workstations where 2 meters cannot be achieved
  • Reduced manning levels in our cooking environment
  • Working from home for all non-essential factory staff
  • Meetings conducted via Teams
  • Any employee showing symptoms, or living with a household member showing symptoms to self-isolate in line with government policy
  • Strict return to work process following illness / Holidays / Travel
  • Restriction of visitors to site
  • Bistro facilities set out to allow for 2-metre distancing
  • Office space being reorganised to maintain social distancing as people return, including passing places along corridors and desk cleaning stations
  • Provision of additional hand san stations at touch points
  • Staggered start and finish times for production teams to reduce volume of people in changing facilities
  • Introduction of two-way radio systems to allow effective communication, whilst maintaining social distancing in a challenging environment
  • Introduction of temporary labour screening
  • Temperature checking as when as require
  • Site door handle and contact point cleaning schedule with high frequency turnaround
  • Contactless deliveries with paperwork drop points
  • Continuation of working from home where roles can work away from the office
  • Antibacterial wipes stationed periodically along the desks so people can wipe down their desks and hard areas of chairs at end of the working day
  • Ramped up the cleaning within the office
  • Screens erected in reception and at the end of some desks
  • One-way systems in operation in some areas


“As we move forward to maintain these current controls, we have appointed two positions with specific responsibilities for continuing to monitor effectiveness through auditing across the site, observing effectiveness of social distancing controls and looking to identify improvements.

“It is clear that as this pandemic continues and the government slowly reduces lockdown measures, employees may start to feel more at ease and behaviours of social distancing if not continually monitored and challenged could start to lessen in the workplace. This is where all staff must feel empowered to challenge unsafe behaviours to continue to protect everyone on site and our families.”

Read the Government guidance for businesses here 






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