Updated: April 11, 2020
Download the Final Guidance Document for the Temporary Policy Regarding Enforcement of 21 CFR Part 118 (the Egg Safety Rule) During the COVID-19 Public Health Emergency (weblink // PDF of Final Guidance).
from April 10, 2020
The FDA has put out Best Practices for Retail Food Stores, Restaurants, and Food Pick-up/Delivery Services During the COVID-19 Pandemic. Read more here.
Find this video from the CDC on YouTube.
the Food Industry
Applying EEOC Rules for Hiring during COVID-19.
With increasing absenteeism within workforces, temporary hiring has increased in grocery and manufacturing establishments. To enable businesses to continue to meet hiring and employment requirements, EEOC has developed guidance, and an information page for employers to refer to that are consistent with workplace protections and rules. To note: While laws, including the ADA and Rehabilitation Act, continue to apply during the pandemic, they do not interfere with or prevent employers from following the CDC’s COVID-19 guidelines and/or those of state/local public health authorities.
In the EEOC’s Q&A section, TAG has identified some helpful questions related to hiring practices. These include:
If an employer is hiring, may it screen applicants for symptoms of COVID-19?
Yes. An employer may screen job applicants for symptoms of COVID-19 after making a conditional job offer. Employers must do this for all entering employees in the same type of job. This ADA rule applies whether or not the applicant has a disability.
May an employer take an applicant's temperature as part of a post-offer, pre-employment medical exam?
Yes. Any medical exams are permitted after an employer has made a conditional offer of employment. However, employers should be aware that some people with COVID-19 do not have a fever.
May an employer delay the start date of an applicant who has COVID-19 or symptoms associated with it?
Yes. Per current CDC guidance, individuals with COVID-19 or with associated symptoms should not be in the workplace.
May an employer withdraw a job offer when it needs the applicant to start immediately but the individual has COVID-19 or symptoms of it?
Since this individual can no longer safely enter the workplace, the employer may withdraw the job offer (per CDC guidance).
May a temporary staffing agency or a contractor that places an employee in an employer's workplace notify the employer if it learns the employee has COVID-19?
Yes. The staffing agency or contractor may notify the employer and disclose the name of the employee. The employer may need to determine if this employee had close contact with anyone in the workplace.
Businesses should consider remote interviewing, identifying key positions, and creating just-in-time training sheets and videos that would allow temporary hires to be onboarded and start working within a few hours. Please give us a call for assistance in any of these areas.
From April 10, 2020 Revisiting Important Symptoms: TAG Updates “Wellness Screening” with Secondary Symptoms.
As we continue to learn more about COVID-19, it is becoming increasingly clear that the primary mode of transmission appears to be person-to-person vs. surface contact, further emphasizing the importance of wellness screening and maintaining six-feet social distance.
Not only can asymptomatic persons spread the virus, but a growing body of epidemiological studies from around the world indicated that secondary symptoms of coronavirus often includes loss of sense (anosmia), sore throat, muscle aches, general malaise, headache, and diarrhea.
Anosmia has gained significant credibility as a symptom of COVID-19. According to a letter from ENT UK at The Royal College of Surgeons of England, significant numbers of patients in South Korea, China, and Italy, “with proven COVID-19 infection have developed anosmia/hyposmia”. Additionally, many patients experience anosmia without any other COVID-19 symptoms. From this, the American Society of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery has proposed that anosmia and dysgeusia (distorted sense of taste) be added to the list of screening tools for possible COVID-19 infection.
TAG has also updated its wellness screening advice to include both primary (fever, cough, or difficulty breathing) and other secondary symptoms. An employee wellness screening should be conducted prior to the start of their shift and throughout the day, if multiple wellness checks are desired. To protect your workforce, consider screening all visitors, too.
Primary symptoms: If employee responds yes to having fever, cough, or difficulty breathing,
Have they consulted with a medical professional (e.g., doctor)?
Have they been tested for COVID-19?
Do they have their results yet? If so, were the results positive or negative?
If tested with positive result, determine the employee’s work schedule for at least the 48 hours prior to illness onset to identify employees and customers who may have had close contact (worked within 6 feet of that person for more than 10-15 minutes)
Isolate the employee and send them home, following the guidelines in When Does the Clock Start for a COVID-19-Diagnosed Employee for self-isolating and return to work.
If any other employees experienced fever or cough in the last 14 days, run through the same questions/actions with them.
Secondary symptoms: If employee responds yes to having ONLY one or more secondary symptoms (loss of smell or taste [anosmia], headache, tiredness or fatigue, sore throat, or gastrointestinal illness [diarrhea]):
These employees may be infected with COVID-19 and should be sent home immediately and instructed to call their healthcare provider and describe their symptoms for evaluation.
They can be allowed to return to work under the direction of their healthcare provider or 3 days following resolution of all symptoms.
Additionally, for guidance on potential illness, Emory University has put together an online Coronavirus Checker (link). Using symptoms, age, pre-existing conditions, where you live, and current best clinical practices it can provide guidance on what to do when you or someone else might be feeling ill.
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 (email@example.com) for a copy of this poster (English, Spanish, Portuguese, French, and Chinese - simplified, traditional are available).
As of April 11, 2020 (10:25 ET), there are over 1,715,000 cases (>103,000 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:
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