Fraser Valley Specialty Poultry reopens
By Canadian Poultry magazine
Plant was ordered closed following COVID-19 outbreak.
By Canadian Poultry magazine
Fraser Valley Specialty Poultry, which the regional health authority ordered closed last week following a COVID-19 outbreak among staff, has reopened. Fraser Health rescinded its closure order, as the poultry plant has met its requirements.
The company posted an update on its website:
Over the course of the weekend, Fraser Valley Specialty Poultry worked closely with Fraser Health to implement additional procedures to decrease any potential spread of COVID-19 in the plant. After installing these new measures, Fraser Health gave authorization for Fraser Valley Specialty Poultry to reopen the processing plant today, Monday, May 4. Our plant, wholesale order desk, office, and Farm Store are open. Our plant is currently operating on a reduced workload, with less than half of our typical staff in attendance.
Over the course of last Thursday and Friday, Fraser Health tested more than 100 staff members of Fraser Valley Specialty Poultry – including plant workers, office staff, and The Farm Store staff. We can now confirm that 7 people in total have tested positive for COVID-19 at Fraser Valley Specialty Poultry. All 7 cases are from within the plant, and are people who work in the same area, take lunch breaks together, and are friends with each other.
We are relieved to report that 2 workers who exhibited symptoms of the Coronavirus are on the mend, and are reporting that their health is improving. The 5 remaining workers who tested positive are showing no symptoms. We look forward to welcoming back these workers when Fraser Health informs us it is safe to do so.
As an extra precaution, any workers who Fraser Health has assessed as having “close contact” with our COVID-positive workers will be in quarantine for 14 days. Fraser Health defines “close contact” as spending 15 minutes or more with the affected person, while using no PPE, at less than 6 feet apart. As always, we will work closely with any worker in quarantine to access the necessary paperwork or assistance they need in filing for government resources.
We are still awaiting results from 16 of our staff. These workers will not be allowed on Fraser Valley Specialty Poultry premises until we can confirm their results are negative. From this day forwards, every staff member at Fraser Valley Specialty Poultry must first go through a screening process before being admitted to the plant, The Farm Store, or the office. We have a first aid trailer assembled where each worker enters – one at time while maintaining all social distancing protocols – to answer screening questions and record their body temperature, using Fraser Health approved questionnaires and thermometers.
Fraser Valley Specialty Poultry extends a warm thank you to Fraser Health for their hard work, attention to detail, and expertise during this difficult time. Their dedication to the safety of our staff means so much to us, as we do everything we can to further protect our workers. Their professional and courteous manner was a guiding light, and every frontline worker we engaged with was dedicated and hard-working. Fraser Health opened their Chilliwack testing clinic outside of regular hours for our entire staff – we could swiftly learn the extent of our staff exposure to the Coronavirus and act according to their advice. From the bottom of our hearts, thank you!
Over the course of the weekend, as we made improvements and awaited results, we also received many inquiries from customers about food safety. Our poultry has not been recalled. We are following strict protocols from Fraser Health and the Canadian Food Inspection Agency to protect and monitor our staff, and to ensure your poultry is safe, nutritious, and of the highest quality. The CFIA reports that at this time, there have been no reported cases of food or food packaging being associated with the transmission of COVID-19.
We and the CFIA recommend you continue to practice food safety by washing your hands, regularly cleaning and disinfecting surfaces, cooking meat thoroughly, and avoiding potential cross-contamination between cooked and uncooked foods.
Our wholesale order desk remains open, and we are taking and processing orders based on availability. Our online store remains open, as does our onsite grocery store, The Farm Store in Yarrow.
Thank you for your ongoing support – whether it’s through your kind words or your continued orders. All of us at Fraser Valley Specialty Poultry appreciate your kindness, sympathy, and support as we continue to improve our already stringent safety measures.