A message from Custom Foods of America
Here at Custom Foods, it is our top priority to provide our customers with superior product while protecting the health and safety of the consumer. This desire to protect the consumer and our own team members through safe quality foods has guided our decisions for many years and as we see the number of COVID-19 positive cases continue to rise, our resolve remains the same. We have taken a number of pre-cautionary actions in response to the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) threat. Initially, Custom Foods formed a multifunctional committee to monitor, review and recommend courses of action and responses as the Coronavirus spread continues.
Custom Foods of America’s policy at this time is to continue to maintain an already robust system of GMP’s and promote awareness of the need for increased commitment to proper hygiene practices (specifically, handwashing, covering coughs and sneezes, staying home when sick/feverish). This is being accomplished through refresher training, signage in all areas of the facility, and via internally generated, multilingual, televised feed in employee breakrooms.
We have increased the frequency in which commonly touched surfaces are sanitized. We have dedicated an employee to sanitizing door handles, tabletops, towel dispensers, etc. repeatedly throughout the day. We have also placed additional sanitizer dispensers (containing >60% alcohol) at key locations throughout the plant and offices. Desktop bottles of hand sanitizers have been ordered to distribute to each desk employee.
As always, our employees are encouraged to make their supervisors aware if they feel ill and/or have a fever. Employees are also visually monitored by their supervisor as well as their peers per our standard policy and may be asked by their supervisor to leave work.
Because this is an evolving pandemic, we will follow recommendations made by Knox County Health Department as to how to handle employees exposed or potentially exposed to COVID-19.
We are closely monitoring updates posted by the CDC, as directed by the USDA, FDA, and OSHA websites to refer to for guidance. We also maintain an open line of communication with our assigned USDA inspector for any direction given, with regards to the food industry, and have already been directed to specific CDC referenced articles. We are following CDC issued preparedness checklist, guidelines, and a food industry crisis communications guide.
According to our Sourcing Manager, who remains in close contact with our overseas vendors and brokers of overseas ingredients, there is currently no reason to anticipate a significant impact to our raw material supply. We are nonetheless working to identify materials that we can secure additional inventory of as a precaution and working to secure multiple supply line options. Currently the Center of Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) indicates there is no evidence to support the transmission of COVID-19 associated with imported goods. Public health officials believe there is a very low risk of spread from products or packaging that are shipped over a period of days or weeks according to American Frozen Food Institute (AFFI). Additionally, USDA has reported that no food to person transmission of the disease has currently been identified or reported.
While we continue to provide our customers updated information, it is recommended that all concerned consult the WHO and CDC’s websites frequently for the most updated information regarding this situation. We will continue to rely on governmental agencies for updates relating to the COVID-19 Coronavirus and the transmission of the virus.
Last, we value your business and want to reassure our customers that Custom Foods is strong and will work with our customers to weather this health and possible economic emergency. We are constantly monitoring the situation, making adjustments to our operations and will update this statement as this situation changes.
Custom Foods of America Management Team and