As of April 25, Ruiz Foods in Dinuba had 18 employees test positive for the novel coronavirus. The current number of effected employees could not be confirmed.
Dinuba has been a relative hotspot in Tulare County, considering its small population of 24,000. According to the Tulare County Health and Human Services website, there are a reported 67 cases of COVID-19 in northern Tulare County, not all of which are in Dinuba.
In an email sent by Ruiz Foods Information Officer, Pat Summers:
“We deeply appreciate the assistance of The Tulare County Health Department who have been assisting us with testing potentially exposed Team Members…We have identified a laboratory to assist us with testing all of our Team Members and are pleased to say we have begun that process. Testing is key to being able to resume operations.”
Because of the COVID – 19 outbreak Ruiz Foods is shutting down some production lines in its Dinuba and Tulare plants.
According to company officials, “Ruiz Foods has temporarily closed several production lines in its Dinuba, CA and Tulare, CA facilities to help keep Team Members safe during the Covid-19 pandemic… Our production lines have a series of tasks that need to be performed sequentially from room to room. When we have Team Members who fulfill key functions who are not able to work, this creates a gap in the sequence that impacts the ability to run a full production line.”
“Our first priority is protecting our Team Members while they work to help feed families across the country,” said Stephen Coale, Senior Vice President Supply Chain, Ruiz Foods. “But, despite our focused efforts to keep our Team Members safe, a high incidence of community spread has resulted in our decision to temporarily halt production.”
Ruiz Foods stated that it has implemented more worker safety precautions at each of its manufacturing facilities than recommended by the CDC.
Ruiz Foods, located at 501 S Alta Ave, is a privately-owned corporation with corporate offices in Dinuba. Kim Ruiz Beck, the elder daughter of Co-Founder and Chairman Emeritus, Fred Ruiz, is Chairman.
According to its website, Ruiz Foods is America’s number one producer of frozen Mexican food. El Monterey® brand is the #1 selling frozen Mexican food in the United States. Ruiz Foods employs nearly 3,800 Team Members in four facilities located in the U.S. For more information; please visit www.RuizFoods.com.
As of the posting of this article Tulare County has 578 cases of confirmed cases.