In a time of such uncertainty, we want you to know that we are here for you, to support you and to help your business recover and eventually grow again.
To help give you the best and most accurate information, we have compiled the following information and guidelines from Federal resources.
COVID-19 is not transmitted through food
It’s important to understand that the Federal Drug Administration (FDA) is not currently aware of any reports of human illnesses that suggest COVID-19 can be transmitted by food or food packaging.
Good hygience practices
However, it is always important to follow good hygiene practices when handling or preparing foods, such as washing hands and surfaces often, separating raw meat from other foods, cooking to the right temperature, and refrigerating foods promptly.
Good hygiene encourages practices and behaviors that can help prevent food handlers from spreading contaminants including viruses to food.
It is essential to adhere to the following guidance during the COVID-19 pandemic.
- When employees report to work, inquire about how they are feeling and send them home if they are not well.
- Require sick employees to stay home and provide guidance to the public to do the same if feeling ill.
- If feasible, pay staff to stay home while they are sick, including office and sales staff.
- Have a back-up plan for operating if multiple employees are out sick. If a food facility cannot be operated safely, it should close until it can be.
- Wash hands on a regular basis for a minimum of 20 seconds. Frequent application of alcohol hand sanitizer (60% ethyl alcohol or greater) is encouraged, but it should not be used in lieu of frequent hand washing.
- Keep hand washing stations fully stocked with adequate running water, soap and clean, disposable towels.
- Employees should wash their hands after clearing and cleaning tables at an event or restaurant.
- Where possible, allow 6 feet of separation between tables (may require removing some tables).
- Heavily soiled surfaces should be cleaned first with a detergent and water, then wiped with a disinfectant product. See cleaning versus sanitizing here.
Flaunt your diligence
Feel free to flaunt your diligent cleaning practices and let the public see what you are doing. This should include cleaning and disinfecting tables between every customer use, as well as disinfecting door handles, menus, condiments bottles, all restroom surfaces and faucets, etc.
Recovery and financial support
The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) will provide disaster assistance loans for small businesses impacted by COVID-19.
SBA’s Economic Injury Disaster Loans offer up to $2 million in assistance for a small business. These loans can provide vital economic support to small businesses to help overcome the temporary loss of revenue they are experiencing.
Learn how the process for accessing the lending will work: https://www.sba.gov/about-sba/sba-newsroom/press-releases-media-advisories/sba-provide-disaster-assistance-loans-small-businesses-impacted-coronavirus-covid-19
More small business guidance and resources: https://www.sba.gov/coronavirus