Across the country, many restaurants have been closed for at least two months, while others have been partially closed and offering take-out or delivery to customers during the COVID-19 pandemic. As states begin their strategy to reopen the economy, many restaurants have already opened, and others are preparing for when this day comes. To better help food retail establishments during this uncertain time, the FDA has issued the checklist, “Best Practices for Re-Opening Retail Food Establishments During the COVID-19 Pandemic”, along with a two-page infographic.
The checklist offers guidance in several key areas related to food safety practices, including:
- Facility Operations
- Water, Plumbing and Ice
- Food Contact and Non-food Contact Surfaces (clean, disinfect, sanitize)
- Food Temperature Control
- Product Inspection, Rotation
- Dishwashing Equipment
- Handwashing Stations
- Employee Health/Screening
- Social Distancing
While the food safety checklist covers a lot of ground, the FDA has stated that the list is not comprehensive. “We encourage retail food establishments to partner with local regulatory/health authorities to discuss the specific requirements for their retail food establishment prior to re-opening,” the agency states.