CRF Frozen Foods’ announcement Friday raises the number of laid-off workers to more than 300.
CRF Frozen Foods has laid off an additional 61 workers idled by the ongoing shutdown related to listeria contamination in some of its products.
The move announced Friday raises the number of workers laid off to more than 300.
CRF Frozen Foods has recalled more than 400 products sold under 40 brand names at major retailers such as Costco, Target, Trader Joe’s and Safeway after its products were linked to a listeria outbreak that is linked to eight illnesses.
Two of the patients died, though their deaths are not directly linked to listeria.
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The initial recall covered about a dozen frozen vegetable products and began April 22. CRF issued a voluntary recall of all its products May 2.
The company temporarily laid off 245 workers May 10, saying it would recall employees when the plant reopens. On Friday, it said it was laying off 61 more workers so that they can seek employment with other businesses.
“Local employment opportunities are available right now for these skilled workers, so it’s the best time for us to release them to seek jobs,” said Gene Grabowski, a crisis-communications expert serving as spokesman for CRF Frozen Foods.
Its plant is being inspected to determine the source of the listeria contamination. It will not reopen until it is approved by the federal Food and Drug Administration.
CRF typically employs about 430 in Pasco. CRF is affiliated with R.D. Offutt Co., a Fargo, N.D., agriculture and equipment giant. It acquired the former Bybee plant in 2013.