Flowers Foods stops production at Savannah bakery due to COVID-19
Flowers Foods has temporarily halted production at its bakery in Savannah, Georgia, US owing to a rise in confirmed COVID-19 cases within its production staff and in the number of those in self-quarantine.
Headquartered in Thomasville, Georgia, Flowers Foods is the owner of Nature’s Own, Wonder, Tastykake, Dave’s Killer Bread, and other bakery products.
The company said that the Savannah bakery’s shipping, sanitation, engineering, and office teams continue to work at the facility. However, 115 employees in the production team have been furloughed.
Flowers Foods said that it will pay the furloughed production employees and ask the impacted employees to shelter-in-place until the bakery restarts production.
The Savannah bakery, which has 293 employees, makes fresh retail bread and bun items, which are sold across Georgia and South Carolina. Flowers Foods expect to resume production at the bakery on or around 17 July 2020.
The company said that the bakery has been cleaned and sanitized thoroughly, and those working there are continuing to adhere to all precautionary steps and wear personal protective equipment (PPE). Besides, the bakery in Savannah also is maintaining its improved sanitation schedule, said Flowers Foods.
The company expects the closure of the Savannah bakery to have little effect on its ability to cater to the market as its other bakeries are making up for the lost production in the near term, and the bakery’s sales team and distribution network are not expected to be impacted.
Flowers Foods, in a statement, said: “Flowers is continuing to implement precautionary measures across its bakeries, including wellness and temperature screening for everyone entering facilities, mandatory face masks, enhanced daily sanitation and cleaning of commonly used areas and frequently touched surfaces, social distancing measures, contact tracing and required self-quarantining for those having close contact with a confirmed case or otherwise exhibiting COVID-19 symptoms.
“The action does not reflect on the quality or safety of the products baked at the Savannah facility or any of Flowers’ other facilities. According to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, there is no evidence of food or food packaging being associated with COVID-19 transmission.”