FDA Issues Best Practices for Re-Opening Retail Food Establishments During the COVID-19 Pandemic

Faegre Drinker Biddle & Reath LLP

Faegre Drinker Biddle & Reath LLP

On May 8, 2020, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued Best Practices for Re-Opening Retail Food Establishments During the COVID-19 Pandemic to address key food safety practices for retail food establishments preparing to re-open or restart operations after being closed or partially closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Together, the best practices checklist, which FDA released alongside a summary infographic, represent the most comprehensive resource provided by FDA for food establishments seeking to safeguard both workers and consumers while re-opening and restarting operations. Specifically, FDA’s best practices address the following:

  • Facility operations
  • Water, plumbing and ice
  • Food contact and nonfood contact surfaces (clean, disinfect, sanitize)
  • Food temperature control
  • Product inspection and rotation
  • Warewashing equipment
  • Handwashing stations
  • Employee health / screening
  • Social distancing

FDA cautions, however, that the information provided is not a “comprehensive list” and encourages retail food establishments to partner with local regulatory/health authorities to discuss the specific requirements for their retail food establishments prior to re-opening. FDA also emphasizes the importance of consulting the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) Guidance and practices on employee health and Reopening Guidance for Cleaning and Disinfecting Public Spaces, Workplaces, Businesses, Schools.

For additional information, please consult the following resources:

DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

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