COVID-19 Resources

Due to the high number of inquiries received and the continuous developments regarding the virus, TAG is offering COVID-19 Retainer Packages to businesses concerned with the impact of this outbreak.

Request a quote below or call us: 1-800-401-2239

For the food industry

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  • Advice for Food Industry

  • What can you (we) all do?

Outbreak Updates

Updated March 18, 2020 

For resources and updates from another day, please click here

As of March 18, 2020 (10:36 ET), there are over 204,200 cases (8,246 deaths) worldwide in 170 countries.


Global coronavirus cases have now surpassed 200,000 cases. Guam, Somalia, Bahamas, Aruba, United States Virgin Islands, Benin, Liberia, and United Republic of Tanzania have reported their first cases of Covid-19. South Africa, United Arab of Emirates, Ecuador, Slovakia, and Taiwan have now exceeded 100 cases.


In the United States, there are 6,519 confirmed (115 deaths) COVID-19 cases. All 50 states and various U.S. territories are now reporting cases; West Virginia has now reported their first coronavirus case. The states that have exceed 100 cases are: New York (1,374), Washington (907), California (722), New Jersey (268), Massachusetts (218), Florida (211), Louisiana (196), Colorado (183), Illinois (160), Georgia (146), Texas (101), Pennsylvania (101). 


Current Confirmed Cases (countries with over 100 cases):

  • China: 81,102

  • Italy: 31,506

  • Iran: 17,361

  • Spain: 13,910

  • Germany: 10,082

  • South Korea: 8,413

  • France: 7,661

  • United States: 6,519

  • Switzerland: 2,700

  • Netherlands: 2,056

  • United Kingdom: 1,961

  • Belgium:1,486

  • Austria: 1,471

  • Norway: 1,424

  • Sweden: 1,212

  • Denmark: 1,091

  • Japan: 889

  • Malaysia: 790

  • Cruise Ship: 712

  • Canada: 598

  • Australia: 568

  • Czechia: 464

  • Portugal: 448

  • Qatar: 442

  • Israel: 433

  • Greece: 387

  • Brazil: 350

  • Finland: 336

  • Singapore: 313

  • Ireland: 292

  • Slovenia: 275

  • Estonia: 258

  • Bahrain: 256

  • Pakistan: 256

  • Poland: 251

  • Iceland: 250

  • Romania: 246

  • Chile: 288

  • Indonesia: 227

  • Thailand: 212

  • Luxembourg: 203

  • Philippines: 202

  • Egypt: 196

  • Saudi Arabia: 171

  • Iraq: 164

  • India: 156

  • Russia: 147

  • Kuwait: 142

  • Lebanon: 133

  • San Marino: 119

  • Peru: 117

  • South Africa: 116

  • United Arab Emirates: 113

  • Ecuador: 111

  • Slovakia: 105

  • Taiwan: 100


For further information, please see Johns Hopkins University’s aggregate map.

Key Points
  • The principle mode of coronavirus transmission is person-to-person. While the risk of coronavirus transmission on fomites (objects that can be easily contaminated including dishes, doorknobs, surfaces, utensils, etc.) is low, it is imperative that frequent clean/sanitize policies are in place.

  • As coronavirus cases increase, third party cleaning companies may be faced with difficulties in cleaning a variety of businesses and may even refuse to undertake the work if there is a positive case. Thus, to remain operational, it is imperative that your business has a cleaning/sanitizing protocol (conducted in-house by in-house employees) ready to go if you need it. You know your business best and will be best able to accommodate for any irregularities that may be missed by third-party companies. Contact TAG for support on how to build an internal cleaning and sanitation plan.

  • For information on disinfectants for use against SARS-CoV-2, please refer to the EPA's list (link).  

FDA Briefing for Foods Stakeholders on Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19)

March 18, 2020 (today) at 3:45PM - 4:15PM ET 

For more information, click here.

FDA's Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) website (link)

GFSI COVID-19 Contingencies. 

To provide information and advice to TAG clients and food manufacturers who are wondering about their GFSI status in light of the COVID-19 travel restrictions, we have gathered current responses from the main GFSI standard owners. GFSI has set contingencies in a measure to continue or establish certification, while still conforming to government recommendations to “flatten the curve” of this highly contagious virus. In full support of the approach, TAG also can assist with the preparation or review of internal assessments that would be submitted to Certification Bodies (CB) under these alternative arrangements.

SQF. SQFI has circulated communication to Certification Bodies and food manufacturing sites for the extension of certification deadlines. Following is a key paragraph from the communication provided by Robert Garfield, Senior VP and Chief Food Safety Assessment Officer, SQFI. The communication is dated March 6, 2020: “SQF has in place a means to defer certification due to extenuating circumstances. We have used this system most recently for the Australian bushfires and for individual extension requests, such as floods and facility fires.  All requests for certificate extension must come from the CB and at this time, SQF is only reviewing requests that are within 30 days of the certification audit date.”


BRC.  BRC Global Standards has issue a certification contingency based on a remote audit strategy. The following communication, dated March 14, 2020, was sent to Certification Bodies accredited to BRC GS standards as a means of adhering to the current climate and travel restrictions: “Where the site is operational, but a physical audit may not occur on or before the audit due date and will result in existing certificates expiring, a new certificate of up to 12 months validity may be issued based on:

  • The site providing to the Certification Body results of a documented BRCGS format self-assessment ‘internal audit’ outlining how the control processes at the site meet the Standard requirements.

  • The Certification Body verifying and challenging these controls through a ‘remote audit’.

  • An additional onsite GMP audit or review if the site is still not accessible within 6 months.”


For Risk Assessments. The Certification Body shall assess the risks of continuing certification and have a documented policy and process defining the methods for evaluating the site. Reference may be made to the principles of IAF document ID3:2011 Management of Extraordinary Events or Circumstances Affecting ABs, CABs and Certified Organizations. The risk assessment of the certificated site shall consider:

  • Ability of site to accept remote audit i.e. internet connection and video capabilities

  • The history of third-party certification

  • The history and maturity of the BRCGS system

  • Whether there is any other management system or certification in place


FSSC. FSSC22000 is granting an exception in the case of the coronavirus where this is preventing CBs from traveling to organizations in affected areas/countries. In all cases, the CB shall have documented procedures, undertake specified actions, and keep records of specified activities as required under FSSC 22000 Scheme version 5, section 5.10 of Part 3 Requirements for the Certification Process. (For more information on this, visit the FSSC page.)


IFS. No changes.

Recommendations for
the Food Industry

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