On March 23, 2020, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) released new guidance for the food and beverage industry in light of COVID-19. The most important advice is to continue to maintain the food safety and handling protocols which food companies already have in place, especially if employees are unable to follow social distancing measures or maintain a distance of approximately 6-feet from one another.
The FDA advises that workers in the food and agriculture sector continue to follow stringent hygiene practices. Food facilities should be diligent in frequent and proper hand-washing and routine sanitization of all surfaces.
FDA guidance also discusses use of a policy for temporary compounding of certain alcohol-based hand sanitizer products and states that the FDA does not intend to take action against compounders that prepare alcohol-based hand sanitizers. The guidance further notes that the CDC does not recommend that people who are well wear a facemask to protect themselves. Facemasks should only be used by health workers and people who have COVID-19 and are showing symptoms.
- It is important for clients in this sector to remember that the FDA and CDC have previously advised that there is no evidence that COVID-19 is transferred through food.
In summary, this guidance confirms what DWT’s food safety team has been advising clients on since the beginning of the pandemic.
Our food safety team has advised clients in pathogen outbreaks for over 20 years. We stand by to help your food business in any way that we can during this challenging time.
The facts, laws, and regulations regarding COVID-19 are developing rapidly. Since the date of publication, there may be new or additional information not referenced in this advisory. Please consult with your legal counsel for guidance.
DWT will continue to provide up-to-date insights and virtual events regarding COVID-19 concerns. Our most recent insights, as well as information about recorded and upcoming virtual events, are available at www.dwt.com/COVID-19.