D’Arrigo California continues to prioritize the health and safety of our employees who are directly impacted by the River Fire. As our farming operations stretch throughout Monterey County our essential workers continue to harvest Andy Boy fresh vegetables to feed families around the world. We are grateful for our valued and essential employees and we are committed to protect their health and safety every day.
Our Commitment to Protect the Health and Safety of our Employees
D’Arrigo California has purchased thousands of N95 respirator masks and distributed them to all employees working in outdoor operations such as production, harvesting, receiving, cooling, service center, etc. based on Cal/OSHA regulations due to the River Fire. We are working with the Monterey County AG Commissioner’s Office and the Grower Shipper Association of Central California to secure more N95 masks to protect employees from the wildfire smoke and ash.
D’Arrigo California is following the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) rules to provide N95 respirator masks to employees working in areas where the AQI for PM2.5 has reached 151 or greater. (AQI-air quality index / PM-particulate matter)
D’Arrigo California has shut down production in areas where the air quality index has reached 300 or greater because it is considered hazardous. Additionally, we have adjusted harvesting schedules where possible to limit our employee’s exposure to smoke and ash.
The N95 respirator is a device (mask) that covers your nose and mouth to filter out smoke and ash particles before you breathe them in. The tight seal of the mask around the nose and mouth is unique and protects against harmful particles being inhaled.
Our Safety Department has conducted bilingual trainings for employees on how to properly wear the N95 respirator masks. Employees are taught to wash their hands before placing the N95 respirator masks on their face and then molding it so no air escapes. They are asked to inhale and exhale to ensure a proper seal.
D’Arrigo California will continue to monitor the air quality every hour via the US EPA (AirNow) website and Monterey Bay Air Resources District website to protect the health and safety of our employees due to the wildfires which are impacting our farming operations in Monterey County.
D’Arrigo California will continue to assess and monitor Andy Boy produce harvested in Monterey County due to the River Fire for any safety or quality issues. Our food safety team is on high alert, walking the fields inspecting quality throughout the day. A study published in 2018 from UC Cooperative titled, ‘Produce Safety After Urban Wildfire’ explored the impact of smoke from the Sonoma fires and the report stated, “produce safety was not significantly affected by the fires and may be mitigated by washing produce.”