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story.lead_photo.caption Inside Burgers' Smokehouse near California, employees work to process country cured hams and a variety of other meats. (June 2019 photo) Photo by Danisha Hogue / California Democrat.

Burgers' Smokehouse has closed the doors to its Factory Country Store until May 4 in light of the coronavirus pandemic, but the factory will remain open for business as usual.

"The U.S. Department of Homeland Security has issued guidance that identifies U.S. food and agriculture as one of 16 critical industries that should continue as the country addresses and responds to the coronavirus outbreak, so we are working diligently to continue normal production while caring for the health and well-being of our employees," Burgers' Smokehouse president Steven Burger said. "The Factory Country Store that is connected to our plant creates an exposure risk so we decided to temporarily close the doors to the public."

To protect its employees, Burgers' Smokehouse will be taking preventative measures including targeted employee communication posted at all plants and updated periodically, targeted customer communication, temporarily closing the factory store to the public, intensified cleaning of high touch surfaces, limited business travel, and screening protocols for essential vendors entering the plant and employees returning from personal travel. Burger said they are following CDC guidelines and making sure sick employees, especially those with a fever, stay home and are encouraging proper handwashing.

With the uncertainty of government actions, labor shortages and supply chain disruptions during the COVID-19 pandemic, Burgers' will continue business as usual and filling orders for as long as they can, and will revisit the issue when the time comes.

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