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Food News


THIS SECTION IS FOR NEWS AND INTERESTING STORIES RELATED TO FOOD, NUTRITION AND FOOD PROCESSING. THEY ARE NOT NECESSARILY RELATED TO KOSHER BUT MAY BE OF INTEREST TO THE KOSHER CONSUMER, MANUFACTURER OR MASHGIACH.

Empire, leading kosher-chicken provider, closes due to Covid-19

April 2, 2020 - Crain's New York Business:

"Empire Kosher, the leading kosher-poultry supplier in New York and most everywhere else, closed its processing facility for at least two weeks after two employees tested positive for the coronavirus."

"The closing comes a week before the Jewish holiday of Passover, but chickens are expected to be available for those planning to serve them at seders next week, said Rabbi Menachem Genack, chief executive of the Orthodox Union's kosher-certification agency, which supervises the Empire facility in Mifflintown, Pa."

"In a letter to customers, Empire President Jeff Brown said 'the very difficult and unprecedented decision' to close the plant stemmed from employees testing positive "beyond the previous noticed cases." Affected employees were immediately removed from the site and self-quarantined."

"At Empire, the plan is to reopen April 13. The company closes its doors every year for part of the Passover holiday, but this time the coronavirus forced it to do so earlier. A spokeswoman for the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture said the closing was not done at the order of the state."

"Wendell Young, president of the United Food and Commercial Workers Local 1776, applauded Empire's decision to close the 550-employee plant."

"'There is no cleaner chicken facility than Empire's," Young said. "Giving it an extreme sanitizing is the right thing to do.'"

"Empire, founded in 1938, is owned by private-equity firm Aterian Investment Partners, which last year acquired the brand and other assets from Hain Celestial for $80 million."

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