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Quaker to Shutter Illinois Plant, Lay Off More than 500

It’s been a staple in Danville, Illinois, since 1969.

It’s been a staple in Danville, Illinois, since 1969, but on June 8, the Quaker Oats plant will close its doors.

Last week, Quaker informed more than 500 workers in Danville they will be laid off but, perhaps, the writing was on the wall.

Back in December, Quaker – a PepsiCo brand – paused production at the facility while it sorted out a product recall. Unfortunately, it wasn’t buttoned up quickly; what started with concerns of contamination risk in its granola soon ballooned into other products, ultimately requiring Quaker to recall some five dozen products – many of which are still not back on store shelves today.

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The company says that no confirmed illnesses have resulted from the recall, but it seems the damage has been done in Danville. Quaker said in a statement to local news station WCIA in Champaign that it conducted a “detailed review” before determining that meeting its future manufacturing needs would require “an extended closure for enhancements and modernization.” 

Because of this, the company determined it would need to permanently shift production to other facilities.

A spokesperson for Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker said that, immediately upon informing employees, Quaker reached out to the state in order to discuss future uses for the factory site, and state leaders say they hope that it could be “positioned for job creation.”

The Quaker recall has made a big impact on the company’s bottom line. Quaker blamed a 19% year-end dip in operating profit on the debacle, saying the loss reflected the impact of product returns and charges associated with the recall.

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