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

  • Daily Updates

  • Advice for Food Industry

  • What can you (we) all do?

 
Key Points

Updated: March 26, 2020

  • While much of the focus is on coronavirus, food safety is still important and imperative. The FDA may not be conducting as frequent routine inspections, but the production and delivery of safe food is still expected.

  • Chloroquine is not a proven antiviral against coronavirus. There is not yet sufficient clinical evidence of its efficacy. Please do not attempt to self-medicate. (There have been cases in which deaths have occurred). 

  • Actively screen employees and enact social distancing practices in your business, amongst employees, and with customers. The poster is now available in English, Spanish, Chinese (simplified), Chinese (traditional).

  • More information in "Recommendations for Industry" on "Social Distancing in Food Manufacturing Plants" (below).

  • When discussing masks: Except that of healthcare workers for whom N95 respirators are recommended, face masks will likely be of little benefit in the work environment; masks can potentially increase risk.

What is “flattening the curve”? – “Flattening the curve” is the concept of slowing down an outbreak so that fewer people need to seek treatment at any given time so as not to overload the system. The “curve” represents the number of people who can contract coronavirus based on the infection rate. When there is a high/steep curve, a lot of people are infected and sicken (overloading the healthcare system in hospitals leading to running out of decreased supplies). By flattening the curve, while the same number of people may be sickened, but it is spread over a longer period of time, thus creating less stress on the healthcare system. Read more at the CDC or Live Science.

FMSA Fridays/COVID-19 Update Webinar


Controlling COVID-19 in Food Facilities   
Friday, March 27, 2020
from 12:00 - 12:30PM EST


A live webinar with Drs. David Acheson & Ben Miller

Register Here [link]

Food Chain ID Webinar


COVID-19 Strategies for Managing Food Supply Chain Risk   
Friday, March 27, 2020
from 11:00 - 12:00PM EST


A live webinar with Dr. David Acheson 

Register & Join Call Here [link]

 
Recommendations for
the Food Industry

“Social Distancing” in the Food Manufacturing Plant. 

The general recommendation for those unable to work-from-home during this COVID-19 pandemic is to maintain “social distancing” in their work facility. However, “social distancing” is not always practical, particularly in high-production or limited-space food processing plants where some workers typically stand shoulder to shoulder.

 

But with the highest risk of COVID-19 transmission being from person-to-person, alterations must be made to reduce close contact to maintain a healthy workforce. So how exactly does a food facility balance continued production with the six-foot physical spacing necessary in social distancing?

 

Just as no two food facilities are the same, neither can any two facilities follow the same risk-management methods. Based on TAG’s experience and work with various businesses, thus far, below are some general recommendations for food facilities to consider.

 

  • Separate workers from one another as much as possible. To create separation may include activating two lines instead of one for a single production run; reducing the number of workers in an area (even by a few) if at all possible; or simply spreading workers as far as possible along the line.

  • Ask workers to avoid conversation and to always face the line, rather than one another, while on the line. While the greatest spread is through respiratory droplets, merely talking can generate transmittable respiratory droplets.

  • Where feasible, install temporary barriers between workers, similar to the Plexiglass dividers cashiers are using in many retail environments. Even if not possible on the line, dividers could be installed between worker areas, in administrative areas, etc.

  • Consider each area of the plant to be a sensitive area—Limit movement between incoming goods, production, packaging, warehousing, etc. Consider utilizing the color system some plants already have in place to identify areas in which specific workers are allowed by the color of lab coat worn.

  • Adjust shifts, so fewer workers are moving around at the same time and alternate coming and going (e.g. stagger workers in the same shift to ensure that workers are not all in the gowning room or entering/exiting the production area at the same time, etc).

  • Exclude person-to-person and close contact at all times. Advise workers to maintain a six-foot physical distance anytime they are not in production. Do not touch one another (e.g., to shake hands, etc.), spread out at tables or chairs during breaks, etc.

  • Increase handwashing. Advise workers to maintain all standard handwashing practices, and to wash hands and use sanitizer whenever contact does occur with others, potentially contaminated surfaces, etc. Encourage workers to avoid touching their faces, especially around the eyes, nose, and mouth.

  • Conduct wellness checks upon worker arrival and at breaks. (See “How Can I Screen Employee Health?” in TAG’s FAQs)

 

While it is essential to maintain regular cleaning and sanitation (See recommendations in TAG’s COVID-19 FAQs for specifications). As discussed in previous articles, the virus is not transmissible through foods. Although the coronavirus can survive on surfaces, such transmission is a much lower route of transmission; use standard disinfectants to clean, especially in common areas.

Everyone should practice social distancing (more specifically, physical distancing), not only those who are ill or at higher-risk (e.g. older individuals, pre-existing conditions) but also among healthy individuals so we may "flatten the curve".

 

Please feel free to use this free poster at your establishment. Please email us (info@achesongroup.com) for a copy of this poster (English, Spanish, French, and Chinese - simplified, traditional are available).

 

Keep up to date with COVID-19:

Please send us any questions, comments, and/or concerns! We are happy to talk with you. 

 

OR call us at 1-800-401-2239

Learn how TAG can help your company ensure food safety and brand protection.

Contact us today!

CONTACT US

info@achesongroup.com

Toll free 800.401.2239

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