Dinuba's largest employer temporarily shuts down facility

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For the second time this year, Dinuba's largest employer, Ruiz Foods, has temporarily shut down its Dinuba facility. (KFSN)

For the second time this year, Dinuba's largest employer, Ruiz Foods, has temporarily shut down its Dinuba facility. The closures come as the company failed to meet federal sanitation performance standards.

As a stay-at-home mom, Naomi Wilgenburg takes the time to pick out the right foods for her family. She said one product they all agree on-- burritos made by Ruiz Foods. Like many others, she heard the company temporarily stopped manufacturing operations at its 300,000 square foot Dinuba facility on Tuesday.

"Well I know that there are a lot of people who work at that company, and I'm sorry that they're out of a job right now too or that it's closed, so I hope that they get it taken care of quickly."

The company said it's part of an ongoing effort to address a pest problem. They said beetles, roaches, and other insects have been found in, or around, the Dinuba facility. The company said they are working with the USDA's food safety and inspection service to correct the problem. About 900 production employees will be affected.

"I think pretty much anyone you ask, probably either has worked there or knows someone that has or does or is related to," said Jayne Anderson, Dinuba Assistant City Manager.

Anderson said Ruiz Foods representatives called the city on Wednesday, informing them of the temporary closure. As for reopening, Anderson said the company does not have a date set.

"They just always do the right thing as far as we're concerned. They are always proactive and I know that they do, as I said, care about their employees."

A USDA spokesperson said they issued a suspension against Ruiz Foods in June for a pest problem. That suspension was put on hold when the company came up with a corrective action plan but was then reinstated this week because officials said, they haven't successfully resolved the issue.

In a statement, Ruiz Foods' President and CEO said, "Food safety continues to be our highest priority. In keeping with our culture and dedication to Ruiz Team Members, we are committed to being fully operational as soon as possible."

Wilgenburg said she will continue to buy the Ruiz Foods burritos her family enjoys. She's understanding of the unfortunate situation.

"Yes I know that there's a lot of roaches this year especially, so it's been a real challenge to keep them out of houses and other public buildings. So as soon as they can get that taken care of, that would be good."

Ruiz Foods said there are no food-borne or product contamination issues, and no other facilities are affected. A company spokesperson also said the pay structure for employees during this close has yet to be determined.

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