April 29, 2020 – In January of this year through social media, we shared the safety protocols in place to avoid COVID-19 or other germs. We would like to share this information again, as our customers are asking what protocols we have in place currently. After we meet with Fraser Health and Government Officials today, we will also update you on what new measures we will adopt.
• A sterilizing team completely sanitizes our plant every afternoon and evening, from 2pm to 11pm.
• We perform daily, weekly, and annual microbial tests on surfaces. That means we sample the surfaces and test them for germs every day.
• All plant employees must wear fresh, clean clothes every day, and are provided with a mandatory uniform of sanitized overcoats, hard hat, safety goggles, gloves, and steel-toed boots for work.
• All new employees, no matter if it’s a desk job or a packaging job, attend a mandatory orientation day to learn safe food handling and proper hand-washing procedures.
• All employees must follow strict hand-washing procedures at our specially designed sink stations, where the water is controlled with by leg rather than by hand to avoid the spread of germs through touching taps. All workers must thoroughly wash hands before putting on clean gloves, and also before and after breaks and lunch.
• We stagger lunch and coffee breaks at our two lunchrooms so there is no contact between teams, and each room is sanitized after every break.
• We have weekly “Toolbox Meetings” to discuss best safety practices. We discuss a new topic every week.
• It’s one man’s full time job to inspect every single bird we process. This BC Government Inspector assesses every single duck, chicken, squab, goose, and turkey before it can be packaged and shipped off to you.
• Our farm manager does health checks on our flocks throughout the day. We continually weigh and assess our birds to make sure they’re doing well, and we have a healthcare plan in place if we suspect our flock is unwell. The health of our flock is of utmost importance to us, especially because we do not use antibiotics.
Additional measures we took in the last few months to address the Coronavirus:
• We installed plexi-glass barriers between each team in the plant to contain exposure.
• We rearranged the layout of the plant to increase space between our workers.
• Every staff member must complete a questionnaire every morning before being allowed to work. Questions include information about their own health, wellness, travel practices, and that of the people they live with.
• Every staff member has been asked to self-isolate outside of work hours.
• Any staff member exhibiting even mild symptoms of illness was asked to rest and recover at home for 2 weeks. This policy has been firmly enforced, including in the case of our worker who has tested positive. They left work on Friday because of mild symptoms and have been self-isolating since.
• Medical-grade masks have been issued to plant workers recently. Previous to that, they were using homemade masks because we could not source medical-grade masks due to countrywide shortages. Masks are not standard equipment in poultry processing plants, nor are they mandatory. We voluntarily implemented the use of masks to protect our coworkers from each other.
Today (Wednesday, April 29) we are meeting with Fraser Health and Government Officials to discuss our plan going forward, and best practices for flattening the curve. We will inform you of our additional safety measures as they unfold.
We are overwhelmed by your incredible support, kind words, and notes of encouragement. Thank you so much. And thank you also for your patience as we do everything we can to follow the strictest guidelines.