Flowers Foods, Inc. (NYSE: FLO), producer of Nature's Own, Wonder, Tastykake, Dave's Killer Bread, and other bakery foods, today announced that it has temporarily stopped production at its bakery in Savannah, Georgia due to an increase in confirmed COVID-19 cases within its production staff and in the number of those self-quarantining. The bakery's shipping, engineering, sanitation, and office teams continue to work at the facility, but 115 production employees have been furloughed. Flowers will pay furloughed production employees and ask those employees to shelter-in-place until the bakery resumes production.
The bakery, which has 293 team members and produces fresh retail bread and bun items sold in areas of Georgia and South Carolina, is expected to resume production on or around July 17, 2020. The bakery has been thoroughly cleaned and sanitized, and those working at the bakery are continuing to follow all precautionary measures and wear personal protective equipment. The bakery also is maintaining its enhanced sanitation schedule.
The company anticipates the closure will have little impact on its ability to service the market as other bakeries in Flowers' network are offsetting the lost production in the near term, and the bakery's sales team and distribution network are expected to be unaffected.
Flowers is continuing to implement precautionary measures across its bakeries, including wellness and temperature screening for everyone entering facilities, mandatory face masks, enhanced daily sanitation and cleaning of commonly used areas and frequently touched surfaces, social distancing measures, contact tracing and required self-quarantining for those having close contact with a confirmed case or otherwise exhibiting COVID-19 symptoms. The action does not reflect on the quality or safety of the products baked at the Savannah facility or any of Flowers' other facilities. According to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, there is no evidence of food or food packaging being associated with COVID-19 transmission.