Updated: August 24, 2020
In today’s Recommendations for Industry, we discuss the new FDA updates on UVC lamps and lights. Read more here.
ICYMI, on Friday, we discussed some best practices and advice in providing reasonable accommodations for workers who are – validly – unable to wear masks. Read more here.
ICYMI, to support human and animal food operations during the COVID-19 pandemic, the FDA & OSHA developed the Employee Health and Food Safety Checklist for Human and Animal Food Operations During the COVID-19 Pandemic [PDF]. This checklist allows businesses to assess their operations, including “re-starting operations after a shut down or when reassessing operation[al]” changes resulting from the health crisis. Use this list alongside CDC guidance to ensure you have the basics covered. Finally, this checklist provides a guide for non-US facilities or businesses who “manufacture, process, pack, or hold food for consumption in the United States”. The checklist can be downloaded here.
If you or your employees are considering traveling abroad (or arriving from abroad) for business or personal reasons, you can see the current Travel History, Restrictions, and Opening Statuses of any country using an MIT-based application, called Covid Controls. Check it out!
While the CDC no longer says that one need quarantine for 14 days from international travel, it recommends quarantining if you expect that you have been exposed to the virus. See the After You Travel section (updated Aug 21).
TAG highly recommends that all international travelers quarantine for 14 days.
Globally, the number of COVID-19 cases has exceeded 23 million.
Recommendations for Industry
Is UVC Effective Against COVID-19?
Q. Ultraviolet-C (UVC) light manufacturers have contacted me about purchasing their systems to disinfect surfaces and spaces for COVID-19 protection. Are these effective?
A. The short answer is that the efficacy of UVC against the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus is currently unproven; not all UVC lights are the same; and UVC can be toxic. For the longer answer, following are some key points from a new FAQ that FDA published on Ultraviolet Radiation and SARS-CoV-2 Coronavirus:
UVC radiation has been shown to inactivate the SARS-Coronavirus (the original 2003 SARS virus). However, it has not been proven against SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19), as there is limited published data about the wavelength, dose, and duration of UVC radiation required to inactivate it—and how effective it can be at inactivating viruses, generally.
For surfaces. UVC radiation can only inactivate a virus if the virus is directly exposed to the radiation. Therefore, UVC radiation may not be effective on surfaces due to blocking of the UV radiation by soil (e.g., dusts) or other contaminants (e.g., bodily fluids).
For air ducts. This is the safest way to employ UVC radiation because direct UVC exposure to human skin or eyes may cause injuries. As such, installation of UVC within an air duct is less likely to cause exposure to skin and eyes. However, efficacy is still unproven.
UVB and UVA are expected to be even less effective than UVC. Additionally, both are much more hazardous! UVB radiation can penetrate even deeper than UVC into the skin and eyes, leading to DNA damage, skin cancer, and cataracts; UVA is implicated in skin aging and increased skin cancer risks.
Because UVC lights can vary significantly – emitting specific or broad ranges of UV wavelengths, with some emitting visible and infrared radiation – if you are considering using UVC for surfaces or air ducts, be sure to discuss the lights and options with the manufacturer to ensure that you are fully aware of the specifications and hazards.
As of August 24, 2020 (10:11 ET), there are over 23,460,000 cases (>809,000 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.
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
Get the Insights & Guidance You Need!
Learn how TAG can help your company ensure food safety and brand protection.
Contact us today!