EMPLOYEES at a major food manufacturer are considering legal action after the company was hit by a ‘hugely concerning’ data breach.

Greencore, which has a factory on Grosvenor Grange in Woolston, was subject to what it described as an IT security incident in December last year.

Hackers were able to access internal business documents containing information on current and former members of staff – thought to include their roles, salaries and personal information such as bank details and National Insurance numbers.

It is unclear how many workers were affected.

Law firm Hayes Connor says that it is now working with more than 35 past and present Greencore employees over the issue and is ‘receiving new enquiries on an almost daily basis’.

Legal specialist Christine Sabino, who is representing the Greencore clients, said: “The information we have received is hugely concerning and further answers are clearly needed.

“Greencore claims there is no evidence that data has been misused, but there is no way to tell for certain that this is the case.

“No guarantees can be provided about the future either.

“This company employs thousands of people across a range of sites, but no real indication has been provided on how many have been affected.

“While we have heard first-hand from a number of people worried by these developments, there will likely be many more who are also concerned about what has happened.

“Employers have a duty to ensure that incredibly sensitive information is kept safe and secure, so this type of incident warrants a significant investigation.

“We have started to make our own enquiries into the case and are determined to ensure that our clients get the answers and justice they deserve.”

Greencore told the Warrington Guardian that it had been offering support to its staff in the wake of the cyber attack.

A spokesman said: “We take matters of data security extremely seriously and as a business we had prepared for potential IT incidents of this type, knowing that they were on the rise.

“In December 2021, Greencore was subject to such an IT security incident but we were able to follow our incident response planning, taking immediate action to contain the incident and secure our systems.

“We’ve also been working alongside a team of IT forensic experts who continue to investigate the incident.

“They identified evidence suggesting some data was accessed by the unauthorised third party behind the incident.

“We have therefore been notifying those involved, which does include our current and former employees.

“We’ve been working hard to ensure they are fully supported by the business, offering free access to credit and identity monitoring services for 12 months and putting in place a team to answer questions they may have.

“This support is still available and we encourage anyone we have notified to contact us for further support.

“Throughout this incident, Greencore has continued to provide the same quality food and service that all our customers expect from us and we thank our customers and colleagues for their ongoing support.”