The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has issued two documents, a checklist [pdf] and an infographic [pdf], designed to assist retail food establishments that might have been closed or partially closed during the COVID-19 pandemic in preparing to reopen. The two documents are designed to help businesses that prepare food to serve or sell to the public directly, such as restaurants, bakeries, bars, and carry-outs, protect employee and public health as they reopen for business.

The checklist prompts the user to consider the business’ readiness to reopen after being closed by posing critical questions related to food safety and COVID-mitigation efforts. Topic areas on the checklist include:

  • 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

The checklist also includes additional resources from the FDA, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and the Environmental Protection Agency.

The companion infographic, designed to enhance communication and understanding among a diverse workforce, supports the checklist by emphasizing critically important practices for employee and public health that retail food establishments can implement and maintain as they reopen for business to the public. The infographic can be displayed where employees can regularly access the information.

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