Federal authorities declared the food and agriculture sector as critical infrastructure, because they determined that it’s essential these operations continue uninterrupted during the pandemic. Workers remain the foundation of this critical infrastructure, and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) wants to ensure employers have all the information they need to help support their workers and safeguard their health and safety.
As a result, the FDA, based on recommendations from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), have outlined key steps employers and workers can take to help prevent and slow the spread of COVID-19 while supporting the continuity of essential operations if workers become diagnosed with, or exposed to, COVID-19, or show symptoms associated with the novel coronavirus.
In conjunction with occupational health professionals, the FDA advises employers to conduct worksite assessments to identify COVID-19 risks and prevention strategies, even before anyone gets sick or is exposed to the virus.
Employers should identify a qualified workplace coordinator, tasked with assuming responsibility for COVID-19 issues, helping develop plans for implementing infection control procedures, and helping to assess the impact of COVID-19 on the workplace, including absenteeism.
This checklist shows what food manufacturing facilities, distribution centers, and wholesale and retail outlets should do after someone tests positive for COVID-19 or is presumed positive based on their symptoms.
This checklist explains how to handle any potential cases of COVID-19 to ensure the safety of: