FDA, OSHA Publish Pandemic Checklist

New resource can help the food industry assess employee health, social distancing and food safety within workplaces during COVID-19.

August 20, 2020

WASHINGTON—To help the food industry navigate changes to operations related to COVID-19, the FDA has teamed up with OSHA to develop a new checklist, “Employee Health and Food Safety Checklist for Human and Animal Food Operations During the COVID-19 Pandemic.” 

The checklist pulls from existing FDA, CDC and OSHA guidance to create a quick reference that can help the food industry assess employee health, social distancing and food safety within workplaces as operations may be impacted by COVID-19.  

The checklist offers guidance on:

  1. Employee health, screening and operation configuration for social distancing to prevent or minimize the spread of COVID-19 based on guidelines provided by the CDC and OSHA. 
  2. Highlighting food safety requirements in existing regulations that can help the food industry assess the potential impact of COVID-19-related operational changes on food safety practices, such as closures, changes among food safety staff or changes to suppliers or ingredients.

The agencies note that the checklist is not a standard or regulation and does not create new legal obligations; it is intended to assist employers in providing a safe and healthful workplace. Also, the checklist is not an exhaustive list of all measures food operations may take to protect employee health and food safety during the COVID-19 pandemic, but it can serve as a quick reference to identify areas where additional attention could be warranted. Operations should continue to refer to guidelines offered by their state and local government, as well as additional information provided by the FDA, CDC and OSHA.

Coronavirus Resources

NACS has compiled resources to help the convenience retail community navigate the COVID-19 crisis. For news updates and guidance, visit our coronavirus resources page.

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