COVID-19 Safety Measures
As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to unfold, we would like to communicate the measures we have enacted in our RPE offices and facilities to ensure the safety of our employees, maintain our supply chain and continue to provide the best produce to our customers. These procedures are based on CDC guidelines and the best available information about the novel coronavirus.
- We have enabled remote work whenever possible. This has allowed us to maintain our phone lines, communicate with customers and conduct our work as an “essential” business while minimizing the number of employees in the office at any given time.
- We evaluated sick time policies to make it easier for ill employees, or those caring for ill family members, to take time off. Our health insurance will cover the cost of COVID-19 testing.
- To minimize the risk of exposure from outside sources we have limited visitors/contractors to essential visits only. All local in-person sales of potatoes have been halted. Truck driver contact with our shipping personnel has been reduced by 50% through protocol adjustments.
- We have emphasized training on handwashing, proper hygiene and the Good Manufacturing Practices we have always followed.
- Within the production area, we have spaced out work stations as far as possible.
- Our production departments’ breaks are taken at different times and split among separate rooms. Breakrooms are sanitized between every break.
- In addition to regular sanitation methods, we further developed ways to frequently sanitize high-touchpoint surfaces within production areas. Wipes suitable for production area railings, door knobs, work stations and control panels have been developed and are available to employees throughout the day. At completion of each day all production high-touchpoint areas are sanitized via a mist sanitation procedure.
- We devised a proactive response plan to guide our actions in the event that an employee tests positive for COVID-19. These strategies include effective sanitation methods for our facilities and offices, appropriate usage of PPE, and determining if and when employees should be sent home.
- Employees who must report on-site to ensure continuity of essential operations will be part of a premium pay program to reward their efforts and dedication.
The FDA notes there is “currently no evidence of food or food packaging being associated with COVID-19 transmission.” Our goal is to exceed industry standards because the safety of our employees and customers is of utmost importance. We will continue to adapt our practices as we learn new information.
Occupational Safety Program Manager
Kristen Granger, Ph.D.
Food Safety Manager