ROCHELLE, Ill. — Rochelle Foods, LLC will pause production for a period of 14 days based on a notice of closure from the local health department. The company is working with local officials to further understand the closure order and consulting with internal and external subject matter experts to understand next steps to reopen the facility. The closure is in response to further spread of COVID-19 in the area and the impact on the production facility which makes retail and foodservice products. The company has committed to pay its team members during these 14 days. Rochelle Foods is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Hormel Foods Corporation (NYSE:HRL).
“We have decided to close our facility to ensure a broader understanding of COVID-19 and the impact to our operations,” said Bill Rice, Plant Manager. “Unfortunately, the outbreak has had an effect on our ability to fully operate. We have been part of the fabric of this community for decades, so this news is incredibly disappointing to our great team of people. For years, we have provided support to our local food banks and made products used by FEMA and other disaster response programs in times of need. To help continue to do our part, we are eager to reopen soon and start making our great products, just as we have done uninterrupted for decades.”
Team members are working diligently to minimize the impact on operations and the products made there such as bacon products and microwave meals.
Rochelle Foods continues to ensure the highest sanitation and food safety standards are maintained in the production facility. In addition to these standards, further enhancements have been implemented including education for team members on the COVID-19 virus, increased sanitization frequency, providing additional personal protective equipment, prohibiting outside visitors and taking team members’ temperatures.
This release contains forward-looking information based on management’s current views and assumptions. Actual events may differ materially. Please refer to the cautionary statements regarding “Risk Factors” and “Forward-Looking Statements” that appear on pages 30-35 in the company’s Form 10-Q for the fiscal quarter ended Jan. 26, 2020, which can be accessed at hormelfoods.com in the “Investors” section.