Updated: May 15, 2020
The FDA has announced that it “will continue to utilize and implement additional alternative inspection tools and approaches while postponing domestic and foreign routine surveillance inspections”. Mission critical inspections will be done on a case-by-case basis.
Today on Factual Fridays:
The FDA just released notice about potential accuracy concerns around the Abbott ID NOW Point-of-Care tests; “specifically, the test may return false negative results”. A “false negative” result would be when a person is infected with COVID-19 (has the virus) but tests as negative (as not having COVID-19). This is dangerous because it does not identify individuals who are ill and put other employees at risk.
Fogging is not a scientifically proven method for reducing COVID-19 risk and “cleaning” the workspace (or residential space). Be cautious of companies that may have scientifically unproven methods of cleaning and disinfecting. Ask for scientific studies on their product/system.
There is currently no evidence that air purifiers are protective against COVID-19.
the Food Industry
Reducing Risks of Incoming Goods.
With retailers reopening around the country, it is increasingly critical that companies focus on wellness checks for delivery drivers, inspections of the truck’s cargo area, and product testing.
Long-haul drivers are often picking up goods in remote locations and/or may be dropping off at several locations prior to arriving at your facility. Each of these stops can increase the potential for COVID-19 infection, further increasing the need for wellness checks. While some facilities are screening drivers the same way they screen in-house employees, others have implemented digital self-checks for drivers in which the data is uploaded to the company’s online system. Using a digital check-in system does require an aspect of trust and rapport; this may be most applicable to company-employed drivers.
In some areas of high COVID-19 death rates, refrigerated trucks were repurposed to store or transport human remains. FDA has now released guidance on returning repurposed trucks back to food uses. To determine if a truck bringing your supplies had been used for this purpose and ensure that proper cleaning and disinfection was conducted, per FDA guidance, TAG recommends you ask questions of your suppliers, such as Has you trailer stored COVID-19 victims? How/when was it cleaned? Are there unusual odors that can’t be removed via cleaning?
With the closures of foodservice businesses and meat processing plants, some areas are also seeing a rise in food fraud. One recent example is that of mislabeled EU horsemeat intended for unauthorized placement on the market. Food fraud will not only be in meat products; as shortages and closures around the world cause food facilities to source from new suppliers, often rapidly without the ability to conduct in-depth assessments, it is imperative that your business understands its supply chain.
TAG has extensive experience in supply chain risk assessment and management and can assist in protecting your supply chain. Give us a call for more information!
As of May 15, 2020 (09:57 ET), there are over 4,444,000 cases (>302,000 deaths) worldwide.
Due to the increasing number of cases in the United States, TAG will move from reporting counts per country to focus 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.
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