Updated: April 15, 2020
As we reiterate the basics for mitigating business and workforce risks, today we are reminding everyone to practice social distancing. If you or your company need any social distancing posters, please let us know. We have this poster in English, Spanish, Portuguese, French, Chinese (simplified and traditional), and Vietnamese.
the Food Industry
Mitigating COVID-19 Risk through Social Distancing and Personal Hygiene.
Today’s recommendations continue the Back-to-Basics discussion. Today, we will continue our focus on the four basics of risk mitigation depicted in TAG’s COVID-19 Preventive Control Pyramid (below):
Employee Wellness Checks
Social Distancing and Hygiene
Enhanced Cleaning and Disinfection
Today’s focus is on social distancing and hygiene. This risk mitigation strategy means:
Social distancing is maintaining 6 feet (2 meters) physical distance between workers. Social distancing and keeping people apart can help prevent COVID-19-infected persons from infecting others. While this can be difficult in food facilities and plants, companies have incorporated various strategies to encourage social distancing, including: staggering shift and break times, reducing the number of chairs in break rooms, adding/placing barriers wherever possible, adding production shifts, and/or slowing the line so workers can be spaced farther apart. Social distancing posters placed around your facility can also remind workers of its importance. (Contact TAG for more information on posters.)
Personal hygiene includes frequent handwashing and avoiding touching of the face, nose, eyes, and mouth. Combined, both practices (handwashing and not touching face) ensure any infectious droplets will not be transferred through the nose, eyes and mouth. Hands should be washed with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If washing with soap and water is not possible, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol. However, if hands are visibly soiled (with dirt, oil, etc.), soap and water should be used before using an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
Remember: not all exposures are the same. As TAG has previously stated, walking down the hallway and passing by person who is later diagnosed with COVID-19 is much less potentially infectious than working side-by-side with an infected person for a period of time (15 minutes, an hour, or even a day).
Thus, the closer you are to an infectious person (e.g., within six feet) for a longer period (e.g., greater than 10- to 15-minutes), the higher your risk of being infected becomes. This is also why avoiding crowds and taking precautions if a household member becomes ill is important.
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 15, 2020 (11:45 ET), there are over 2 million cases (>128,000 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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