Letter from Ken Wegner – President, The Jel Sert Company
Our world, our nation, and our hometown of West Chicago, Illinois, are facing a time of considerable uncertainty. As we navigate through the unimaginable challenges of the coronavirus pandemic, it is more important than ever that we come together as a collective community to support each other.
For our team here at Jel Sert, that means working around the clock to take all precautions necessary to keep our employees safe and healthy and to keep our factory up and running so that we can continue to deliver much-needed products to the families, government partners and health care partners that depend on them every day.
As a family-owned business that has served American families for nearly a century, we are no stranger to the impacts of global crises. Throughout some of the most trying times in modern history, we’ve been guided by a set of core values that were built on transparency and a dedication to doing the right thing.
I believe that these principles have never been more critical than they are today, which is why we’ve set up this landing page as a way to continue sharing information about new safety protocols and policies that will help keep our workforce safe.
I am saddened that this pandemic has affected so many, including those who are part of our Jel Sert family. Like many, I am fearful of what may lie ahead, but I find tremendous solace in the acts of kindness and generosity that I see every day from the staff here at Jel Sert, the West Chicago community, and the larger area of DuPage County. It's these moments that give me hope, and I know that together, we will get through this.
I pray that you all stay healthy and safe. God bless you, your families, and our nation.
April 13, 2020
WEST CHICAGO, IL., APRIL 13, 2020 — The Jel Sert Company has announced plans to reopen its West Chicago manufacturing facility on April 13th. The company suspended manufacturing on April 3rd, due to the continued community-wide spread of COVID-19 in DuPage County and the self-quarantining of some of the Jel Sert staff. As a manufacturer…Read More
April 3, 2020
April 3, 2020. The Jel Sert Company has made the difficult decision to temporarily close the manufacturing portion of the West Chicago, Illinois, facility, effective at the close of business on April 3, 2020. We are planning to re-open all or a portion of the manufacturing facility on or around April 13, 2020. During this…Read More
March 27, 2020
March 27, 2020. During this time of uncertainty, we feel it is important to share updates with both our Jel Sert employees and our neighbors in the community. We have just been made aware that a third Jel Sert employee has tested positive for COVID-19. That employee is currently at home and receiving care. We…Read More
March 25, 2020
March 25, 2020. Today we are reporting that two of our factory workers have recently tested positive for COVID-19. These employees are currently quarantined and receiving care. We have notified all employees who worked in close proximity with these workers, and as a precaution, have placed each on paid leave and asked that they self-quarantine…Read More
March 16, 2020
Covid-19 Response – At The Jel Sert Company, our actions have always been guided by our mission of producing safe, high-quality food and beverage products that our customers and consumers trust. This has been the ethos at our company, and it remains so in these challenging times. While we have always adhered to the highest…Read More
How We Are Keeping Our Team Safe
At Jel Sert, we are committed to ensuring the health and well-being of our valued team members. As a pharmaceutical-grade manufacturing facility, we have always been dedicated to upholding the most stringent health standards that ensure the safety of our team of employees and the products they manufacture.
As a response to the COVID-19 pandemic, we have taken all the appropriate steps recommended by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), The Illinois Department of Public Health, and the DuPage County Health Department, going above and beyond our standard protocols.
The following procedures are currently in place at our West Chicago, Illinois, facility:
- Implemented a complete plant shutdown from March 27th through March 30th to perform a virucidal disinfection of the manufacturing and common areas
- Tripled the number of staff dedicated to cleaning and sanitizing manufacturing areas and a rigorous daily sanitization of all communal employee areas and equipment (above and beyond our standard cleaning procedures)
- Implemented a more stringent protocol for handwashing and further utilizing automatic machines that wash and sanitize employees’ hands (above and beyond our standard protocols)
- Issued physical distancing guidelines and adjusted workflow to ensure more control over physical distancing inside and outside of production areas
- Required employees to fill out a daily questionnaire from the Department of Public Health, to determine if team members meet the criteria needed to come into the manufacturing facility
- Secured trained medical personal (as long as available) to be on-site to monitor employee temperatures as they enter the manufacturing facility
- Required all employees with a temperature of 100.4 or higher to return home and self-quarantine
- Provided paid-leave for all employees asked to self-quarantine due to:
- A positive COVID-19 test
- Showing COVID-19 symptoms
- Coming into direct contact with someone who has tested positive for COVID-19 or has experienced symptoms related to COVID-19
- Allowed employees to stay home if they are uncomfortable coming to work, with no attendance penalties
- Required all office employees to work from home
- Provided employees with a free daily boxed meal, ensuring there are no lines in the employee cafeteria
- Distributed appropriate COVID-19 literature to employees, in both English and Spanish
- Began ongoing communication efforts with local and state health and government officials
We realize there may be concerns about the safety of consuming manufactured food and beverage products during this time. We want to be a resource to help our retail partners, our consumers, and our community members find answers to their questions about critical health and food-related topics associated with COVID-19.
We’d like to share with everyone that, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the U.S Food and Drug Administration (FDA), there is currently no evidence of food or food packaging being associated with the transmission of COVID-19. We encourage everyone to visit the following websites to find more about this topic, as well as other crucial COVID-19-related information:
The safety of our team members and our community is our top priority. If you have any questions about our protocols or products, please don’t hesitate to contact us here.