FDA and OSHA Publish Checklist for Food Operations During COVID-19

August 25, 2020

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) announced the availability of a Checklist for FDA-regulated human and animal food operations to use when assessing operations during the COVID-19 pandemic, including when to restart operations after a shutdown. The publication, Employee Health and Food Safety Checklist for Human and Animal Food Operations During the COVID-19 Pandemic, is divided into three sections. The first section covers employee health and screening.  The second section covers how to configure operations for social distancing to prevent or minimize the spread of COVID-19 based on Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and OSHA guidelines. The third section discusses food safety requirements, based on existing regulations.

In addition to assisting FDA-regulated food establishments that grow, harvest, pack, manufacture, process, or hold human and animal food (including ones the produce raw materials or ingredients), the Checklist also provides information for foreign facilities that manufacture, process, pack, or hold food intended for consumption in the United States. The Checklist is not intended to be an exhaustive list of all measures to protect employee health and food safety but is intended to serve as a quick reference source to identify areas where additional attention may be warranted. Operations should continue to refer to guidelines provided by state and local governments, as well as regulations, requirements, and guidance promulgated and provided by FDA, CDC, OSHA, and other relevant agencies.