Updated: April 08, 2020
Today, we wish to re-highlight a few things:
Ensure social distancing is maintained in and out of the workplace. Not only is social distancing physical distance apart, but it also includes not sharing food or drinks, cigarettes, or any other sharing activities that could increase risk through shared respiratory or salivary droplets.
Employ daily Employee Wellness Checks to check-in on employee health and well-being before each work shift. Consider more frequent Wellness Checks throughout shift. Based on changing science, TAG will be updating this soon.
In the interests of both food safety and COVID-19, it is essential to:
Increase the frequency of proper handwashing. Hands should also be washed before putting on and after taking off masks.
Increase the frequency of cleaning and sanitation.
Encourage social distancing whenever possible.
Surgical masks should be saved for healthcare professionals.
the Food Industry
COVID-19: Managing the Basics.
While COVID-19 continues to spread, and the science and understanding of the virus continues to evolve, there are some things that do not change (e.g., the need for proper handwashing, cleaning, and sanitation) for both COVID-19 protection and safe food handling.
Although there has been no evidence that the coronavirus can be transmitted through food – even if someone who was sick handled or prepared the food in production or at retail or foodservice – anyone who handles, prepares or serves food should always follow safe food handling procedures. While the need for enhanced handwashing, cleaning and sanititation was important (all the time) for food safety, these actions have become increasingly critical during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Proper handwashing is always essential before handling and/or eating food, before entering a food production area, etc.. During this COVID-19 pandemic, it is even more important for employee protection. Additionally, while you should avoid touching your face (as the virus can be spread through the eyes, nose and mouth), if you do touch your face, your hands should be washed immediately before and afterwards. As described by CDC, proper handwashing steps are to:
Wet hands with clean, running water (warm or cold).
Lather hands by rubbing them together with the soap; lather the backs of hands, between fingers, and under nails.
Scrub hands for at least 20 seconds.
Rinse hands well under clean, running water.
Dry hands using a disposable paper towel.
Cleaning and sanitation.
To maintain food safety, regulations mandate regular cleaning and sanitation of food areas and food-contact surfaces. Additionally, to minimize the risk of COVID-19 transmission in work areas, TAG recommends more frequent cleaning of facilities to include:
Clean common areas (e.g., breakrooms, lunchrooms, bathrooms, meeting rooms, etc.) throughout your office or facility before and after shift change and before and after breaks and meals; clean vehicles before and after switching drivers or passengers.
Pay closest attention to areas of likely contamination and hand contact surfaces (e.g., toilets, bathroom floors and walls, doorknobs, sinks, taps, benches, handrails, phones, light switches, shared keyboards and touchscreens, forklift controls, hand tools, etc.)
Refer to EPA’s list of Disinfectants for Use Against SARS-CoV-2 (List N) applicable products, following the label for required contact time. The list includes wipes, ready-to-use, and dilutable spray products that are easiest to use and your best choice.
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 (firstname.lastname@example.org) for a copy of this poster (English, Spanish, Portuguese, French, and Chinese - simplified, traditional are available).
As of April 08, 2020 (11:57 AM ET), there are over 1,450,000 cases (>83,000 deaths) worldwide.
Due to the increasing number of cases in the United States, TAG will move from reporting counts per country to focusing on the United States, please see here for the data. For further information regarding worldwide numbers, please refer to John Hopkin University’s aggregate map.
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
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