High Liner Foods Provides COVID-19 Operational Update for its Portsmouth Plant

PORTSMOUTH, NH – High Liner Foods Incorporated (TSX: HLF) (“High Liner Foods” or “the Company”), a leading North American value-added frozen seafood company, today provided a COVID-19 operational update for its Portsmouth Plant.

“Our priority is the health and safety of our employees who are doing essential work supplying food to families across North America,” said Rod Hepponstall, President and Chief Executive Officer of High Liner Foods. “We are maximizing all available resources to safeguard our people and ensure a steady supply of frozen seafood to meet the needs of retailers and consumers across North America during this unprecedented time.”

The Company advised that it has temporarily suspended all production at its Portsmouth plant where it has confirmed positive COVID-19 cases. High Liner Foods is activating its COVID-19 response plan including deep cleaning, contact tracing and risk assessment. High Liner Foods will resume operations at its Portsmouth plant as soon as it is responsible to do so. In order to minimize impact to supply, the Company has already started redirecting a portion of production from its Portsmouth plant to its Newport News and Lunenburg plants.

High Liner Foods notes that government experts in Canada and the U.S have made it clear that COVID-19 is not a foodborne illness and there is currently no evidence that food is a likely source or route of transmission of COVID-19.

Across all of its production facilities, High Liner Foods is adhering to guidance issued by all government agencies including the U.S. Centre for Disease Control and Health Canada. The Company is also collaborating with the food regulators and local public health authorities and supplementing its normal health and safety procedures with enhanced daily sanitation in its plants and use of standard personal protective equipment that protects employee health in the following ways:

  • Increased, frequent sanitation of all common areas like breakrooms, washrooms, locker rooms and cafeterias
  • Careful social distancing through increased spacing on production lines and on production floors where possible
  • Staggered breaks and shifts to prevent groups from forming
  • Creation of additional break rooms to decrease the density of people during breaks
  • Frequent communication on health and safety procedures and protocols
  • Plans to introduce temperature screening at our production facilities as they are received.

The Company remains committed to supporting all of it stakeholders during this challenging time, especially the health and safety of its employees and assistance to customers and suppliers.

About High Liner Foods Incorporated

High Liner Foods Incorporated is a leading North American processor and marketer of value-added frozen seafood. High Liner Foods’ retail branded products are sold throughout the United States and Canada under the High LinerFisher BoyMirabel, and Sea Cuisine labels, and are available in most grocery and club stores.  The Company also sells branded products to restaurants and institutions under the High LinerMirabelIcelandic Seafood, and FPI labels and is a major supplier of private label value-added seafood products to North American food retailers and foodservice distributors. High Liner Foods is a publicly traded Canadian company, trading under the symbol HLF on the Toronto Stock Exchange.