COVID-19 Resources

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For the food industry

  • Daily Updates

  • Advice for Food Industry

  • What can you (we) all do?

Outbreak Updates

Updated March 17, 2020 

For resources and updates from another day, please click here

As of March 17, 2020 (14:02 ET), there are over 190,500 cases (7,500 deaths) worldwide in 164 countries.


Uzbekistan, Rwanda, Kazakhstan, Curacao, Namibia, Central African Republic, Congo, Equatorial Guinea, Eswatini, Mauritania, Mayotte, and Greenland have reported their first cases of Covid-19. Brazil has reported their first coronavirus-related death.


In the United States, there are 5,613 confirmed (93 deaths) COVID-19 cases. The following 49 states and U.S. territories are reporting cases: New York (1,374), Washington (787), California (583), Massachusetts (197), New Jersey (176), Louisiana (171),  Colorado (161), Florida (142), Georgia (121), Illinois (105), Texas (87), Pennsylvania (85), Virginia (67), Maryland (57), Minnesota (54), Michigan (54), Tennessee (52), Ohio (50), Wisconsin (47), Oregon (46), Nevada (45), Connecticut (41), Utah (39), Alabama (36), North Carolina (34), Nebraska (33), South Carolina (33), Indiana (30), Kentucky (22), District of Columbia (22), Iowa (22), Arkansas (22), Rhode Island (21), New Mexico (21), Arizona (18), New Hampshire (17), Maine (17), Kansas (14), Mississippi (12), Oklahoma (10), Hawaii (10), South Dakota (10), Missouri (9), Vermont (8), Delaware (8), Montana (8), Idaho (7), Puerto Rico (5), Alaska (3), Wyoming (3), Guam (3), Virgin Islands (2), North Dakota (1).


Current Confirmed Cases (countries with over 100 cases):

  • China: 81,058

  • Italy: 27,980

  • Iran: 16,169

  • Spain: 11,309

  • Germany: 8,604

  • South Korea: 8,320

  • France: 6,664

  • United States: 5,613

  • Switzerland: 2,700

  • United Kingdom: 1,960

  • Netherlands: 1,708

  • Norway: 1,443

  • Austria: 1,332

  • Belgium: 1,243

  • Sweden: 1,190

  • Denmark: 1,024

  • Japan: 878

  • Malaysia: 673

  • Australia: 452

  • Portugal: 448

  • Canada: 447

  • Qatar: 439

  • Czechia: 396

  • Greece: 387

  • Israel: 324

  • Finland: 321

  • Brazil: 321

  • Slovenia: 275

  • Singapore: 266

  • Pakistan: 236

  • Bahrain:228

  • Estonia: 225

  • Ireland: 223

  • Poland: 221

  • Iceland: 220

  • Chile: 201

  • Philippines: 187

  • Romania: 184

  • Thailand: 177

  • Indonesia: 172

  • Egypt: 166

  • Iraq: 154

  • India: 142

  • Luxembourg: 140

  • Saudi Arabia: 133

  • Kuwait: 130

  • Lebanon: 120

  • Peru: 117

  • Russia: 114

  • San Marino: 109

Key Points
  • For organizations or gatherings that serve higher-risk communities (e.g. older individuals, health-considerations, etc.), the CDC recommends canceling or postponing gatherings with more than ten (10) people.

  • Restaurants and bars have begun closing doors to dine-in customers. What should your business do to consider and explore operation continuity through take-out, delivery, or pick-up? See below for today’s “Recommendations for Industry.”

  • Are you a food manufacturer, food distributor, grocery or convenience stores that is wondering if your business is part of critical infrastructure? Reach out to your departments of emergency management or other relevant agencies for further information:

Restaurant Business Survival Without Dine-In.

With the newest CDC recommendations reducing gatherings to <10 persons, and an ever-growing number of states banning restaurant dine-ins, it is vital that restaurants explore business continuity and operations through take-out, delivery or drive-through modes (which, as of March 17, 2020, is still allowed). At the time same, businesses must assure and practice social distancing to keep both their workers and customers safe.

Below are a few recommendations for ensuring business continuity while keeping your workforce and employees safe:

  1. Utilizing drive-through is likely the best option for food acquirement. Drive-through operations create a natural distance between workers and customers. Additionally, it is easiest to keep food at safe temperatures. Unfortunately, many dine-in restaurants don not have these capabilities.

  2. Some restaurants are implementing curbside pick-up. Again, this can be a viable option to maintain social distancing while keeping workers employed.

  3. Delivery, by employees, can be a good option. This may help keep more employees employed. Before enacting such a policy, be sure to check with your insurance provider, review corporate policies, etc.

    1. It is best to require advance payment by credit card. Drivers should not enter homes and should maintain distance at and during delivery. Remind drivers of the importance of hand-washing.

  4. Direct take-out can be the most problematic, as you don’t want guests congregating in your restaurant waiting for food. Thus, contact-less pick-up that does not enable customers to enter the facility beyond the doorway area is recommended. You can create contact-less pickup by setting up a table barrier between worker and customer. To maintain social distancing, worker on the inside will pass the food across the table to the customer on the other side. It is ideal to require pre-payment. However, if your register/check-out is located near the door, the table could be set up nearby.

  5. Food safety is of utmost importance; please consider food temperature maintenance. One option is to give specific times for pick-up (as pizza places currently do). Food is then kept at-temperature in the kitchen until the hand-off or pick-up time nears. Additionally, food temperatures when prepared and when picked-up/delivered can be recorded on the package to provide proof of temperature maintenance.



Over the next days we will continue to provide thoughts, advice, and best practices on optimizing the situation, and ensuring you have the critical infrastructure in place for business survival.

Recommendations for
the Food Industry

Keep up to date with COVID-19:

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