July 17, 2024

Caito Foods Closes its Fresh Cut Business After Loss of Customer

Caito Foods closes its Fresh Cut business  after the loss of a major customer, according to a Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act letter that was sent on Thursday, February 27, 2020 to the Indiana Department of Workforce Development. Businesses in Indiana are required to go follow a mandatory notification process before plants are closed.

Caito Foods Closes its Fresh Cut Business After Loss of Customer

The letter states, “Given a recent unforeseen cancelation of a customer contract that makes up the majority of our Fresh Cut business, Caito Foods is forced to close its Fresh Cut manufacturing operation.” The lost customer was not named in the company’s statement or the letter.

More than 300 jobs will be lost in May 2020. Layoffs will begin on April 27, 2020 and continue over a two week period. These layoffs will not affect the company’s produce distribution business.

The Fresh Cut part of the company has a facility at 3120 North Post Road in Indianapolis, Indiana. Caito Foods’ parent company SpartanNash released a statement that reads, “This difficult decision was made to support the company’s strategy to deliver locally produced fresh cut fruits and vegetables to its independent and national account customers, as well as corporate-owned retail stores.”

Caito Foods has been implicated in two cut fruit Salmonella outbreaks in 2018 and 2019. The first outbreak caused by Salmonella Adelaide in 2018 sickened 77 people in 9 states. Patients in that outbreak were sickened by precut melon, including watermelon, honeydew melon, and cantaloupe. The melon was sold at retail chains such as Costco, Kroger, Trader Joe’s, Walgreens, Walmart, and Whole Foods/Amazon stores.

The outbreak in 2019 sickened 137 people in 10 states, hospitalizing 38. Salmonella Carrau was the pathogen in that outbreak. Once again, precut melons produced by Caito Foods were the likely source of this outbreak according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). In that outbreak, distributors for the fruit included Gordon Foods, Kroger, Target, Trader Joe’s, Walmart, and Amazon/Whole Foods.

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