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By now we know you've heard from many businesses about how they are responding to COVID-19. We want to assure you that we are determined to continue connecting you to fresh, healthy, locally-grown food, while also modeling best practices to keep you, our food supply, and our staff safe.
While CDC, FDA, and USDA are not aware of any reports at this time that suggest that COVID-19 can be transmitted by food or food packaging, we’re working every day to make sure that our sanitation, food handling, transportation, and staff health and hygiene practices exceed requirements and demonstrate our commitment to a culture of food safety and quality. Here’s a little more about what we’re doing:
- We wash our hands frequently - constantly - and use gloves when handling food. All packing surfaces in our warehouse are food grade and are cleaned and sanitized before and after each use. We’re adjusting our schedules and daily routines to ensure plenty of time for intentional cleaning and disinfecting.
- Our reusable boxes are cleaned when they are returned, discarded if they show any signs of damage, and given at least a one-week resting period before repacking. Meat and dairy bags are cleaned and sanitized when returned, then given the same resting period. This resting period greatly exceeds the CDC guidelines for ensuring that viral transmission via surface contact isn’t possible.
- We have increased cleaning and surface sanitizing throughout our office, warehouse, and trucks. Our drivers wash and sanitize their hands and vehicles frequently, and wear disposable gloves during delivery.
- We minimize in-person interactions in the workplace and practice social distancing. While we’re grateful for the outpouring of volunteer support during this difficult time, we’re also requiring all volunteers to complete sanitation training and follow strict guidelines to ensure everyone’s safety.
- We offer paid sick leave to all of our staff, and make sure that everyone feels empowered and obligated to speak up and stay home if they don’t feel well.
We’re also communicating closely with our family of local farmers and producers to make sure they have the information and resources they need to ensure safe growing, harvesting, and transportation practices. Finally, we’re monitoring new guidance from CDC, FDA, USDA, and Virginia Cooperative Extension and adjusting our practices as necessary.
-The Shenandoah Produce Family