As food service professionals, you're well trained in safe food handling to limit the transmission of germs from food to people. Today, the coronavirus pandemic requires that same vigilance to reduce or eliminate the transmission of germs from person to person.
These guidelines can help ensure you're on the right track. For more business-specific insights, be sure to visit our articles for table service restaurants, counter service restaurants, and convenience/grocery stores.
Coronavirus symptoms are broad and general, so it can be difficult to tell if someone has contracted the virus. Being proactive with healthy habits is one of the best ways to keep COVID-19 at bay.
- Instruct employees to stay home when they are sick or if they have had contact with someone known to have contracted the virus.
- If an employee exhibits symptoms after arriving at work, send them home and disinfect their work area.
- Create a symptom and temperature screening procedure for employees.
- Require gloves, masks, and other PPE (such as face shields) as appropriate for your business and the task.
- Re-emphasize the need for proper handwashing, glove use, and coughing/sneezing etiquette.
- Train or retrain staff on the proper way to remove gloves and masks.
- Add hand sanitizer to appropriate areas including ordering and checkout counters.
- Swap out reusable flatware with disposable flatware for guests.
Take your safe-food practices to the next level to help reduce the spread of COVID-19.
- Continue to practice the four key steps to food safety - clean, separate, cook, and chill.
- Continue routine facility cleaning (soap and water).
- Add frequent disinfection of high-touch surfaces including counters, handles, and floors.
- Prepare and use sanitizers according to label instructions (see Understanding Disinfectant Kill Times for more information).
- In back-of-house operations, mark the safe distance for employees using designated floor mats, signs, or tape. If distancing isn't possible, require masks and/or face shields and consider adding clear barriers.
- Designate separate entry and exit doors.
- Clearly define the queue using stanchions with ropes/belts and floor tape or signs marking where customers should stand.
Between Employees and Customers
- Add transparent barriers between employees and customers at ordering and checkout counters. If this isn't possible, place a large object, such as a table, at the front of the counter to prevent customers from getting too close to your employees.
If you need help sourcing items to meet your state's requirements and guidelines, give us a call. We can either point you to one of our in-stock items or use our extensive network to find what you need.
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