FOOD RECALLS & CONTAMINATIONS

At Rest Ops Solutions, we are all about providing top-notch ideas and offering superior solutions to every day challenges.  That is why we feel that this section of our website is necessary for every day professionals, like you to visit us often.  You need to get the latest updates on food contaminations and recalls as they occur in the food industry so you can take immediate action, if or when it applies to you and your business.  You will see the latest developments here first.

What You Can Do About CORONAVIRUS (Covid-19)

          What is COVID-19 Coronavirus?

Coronavirus is a respiratory illness that at first was detected in Wuhan, China, and then was believed to have initially spread from animals to humans; but now it is spreading from person-to-person contact. According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), it is unclear how easily this virus is spreading among people.  Typically, respiratory viruses are most contagious when an individual is most symptomatic, but there have been reports of the virus spreading when the affected individual does not show any symptoms.   

          How it Spreads/Symptoms     

Covid-19 Coronovirus Spreads: 

  • the virus primarily spreads via respiratory droplets produced when an infected person sneezes or coughs

  • it spreads between people who are in close contact (usually within 6 feet) of one another

Symptoms May Appear in as Few as 2 Days to as Long as 14 Days After Exposure:

  • Fever, cough, and/or shortness of breath

For people who are ill with COVID-19, please follow CDC guidelines on how to reduce the risk of spreading the illness to others: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/about/steps-when-sick.html

          PREVENTION

Currently There is No Vaccine for Covi-19.  The Best Measure is to Avoid Coming in Contact with the Virus

  • wash hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds or use an alcohol-based hand sanitize that contains 60 to 95% alcohol if water and soap are not available.

  • avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with your unwashed hands

  • stay at home if you are sick

  • Clean and disinfect objects and surfaces that have been touched with dirty hands (counters, doorknobs, toilets, phones, edges of surfaces such as tables, walls, tables, etc.)

  • Cover your nose and mouth when coughing and sneezing with a tissue.  Then, immediately dispose of the tissue and wash your hands for at least 20 seconds with hot water                    

  • it is currently flu and respiratory disease season and the CDC recommen ds getting a flu vaccine, taking every day preventive actions to help stopthe spread of germs, and taking flu antivirals if prescribed

  • the CDC does not recommend the routine use of respirators (facemasks): https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/hcp/respirator-use-faq.html

          MONITORING

Keeping Employees Safe: What to do if an Employee Shows Flu-Like Symptoms:

  • it is highly recommended that any employees who are showing flu-like symptoms should be excluded from the food operation entirely until they are symptom-free for 24 hours, and/or have a doctor's note clearing them to return to work

Keeping Customers Safe: What to do if a customer shows flu-like symptoms inside the Restaurant:

According to CDC, the spread of COVID-19 occurs when people are in close proximity of one another (within 6 feet), with an infected person.  Some basic steps that could be taken are:

  1. provide the customer with additional napkins or tissues to use when they cough or sneeze

  2. make sure alcohol-based hand sanitizer is available for customers to use

  3. be sure to clean and sanitize any objects or surfaces that may have been touched by the symptomatic customer.

Bodily Fluid Event: What to do if there is a Bodily Fluid Event

If a customer or employee vomits or has diarrhea it is recommended that the operators follow the appropriate protocols that are already in place for Norovirus.  

  • ensure that the employee who is cleaning up the area is using Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)

  • segregate the area that has been contaminated

  • dispose of any food that has been exposed

  • ensure that any utensils that might have been exposed are cleaned and sanitized

  • frequently clean and sanitize the area to include the floor, walls, and any other objects contaminated by the incident

  • properly dispose any of the equipment that was used to clean up the area

We get it!  We know that you have to Run your Business.  That's Why We are Here to Help You!

At Rest Ops Solutions, we understand that you are serious about running the business model in which you manage and control.  Without you, who is going to take care of the business?  Nobody works better than you, to protect your business.  We work with this exact concept through the entire consultative technical assistance that we provide you with.  We create a win-win scenario for everyone's success.  Call Us!!

 

 

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     

LATEST NEWS FROM CDC REGARDING CORONA VIRUS DISEASE (CoVID-19)

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Access to Food

Q: Will there be food shortages?

A: There are no nationwide shortages of food, although in some cases the inventory of certain foods at your grocery store might be temporarily low before stores can restock. Food production and manufacturing are widely dispersed throughout the U.S. and there are currently no wide-spread disruptions reported in the supply chain.

USDA and the Food and Drug Administration are closely monitoring the food supply chain for any shortages in collaboration with industry and our federal and state partners. We are in regular contact with food manufacturers and grocery stores.

 

Q: What is USDA doing to ensure access to food?

A: USDA is monitoring the situation closely in collaboration with our federal and state partners. FNS is ready to assist in the government-wide effort to ensure all Americans have access to food in times of need. In the event of an emergency or disaster situation, Food and Nutrition Service programs are just one part of a much larger government-wide coordinated response. All of our programs, including SNAP, WIC, and the National School Lunch and Breakfast Programs, have flexibilities and contingencies built-in to allow us to respond to on-the-ground realities and take action as directed by Congress.

Learn more about available FNS flexibilities to help ensure food access during the pandemic response, please visit: www.fns.usda.gov/disaster/pandemic.

 

Q: Is USDA issuing guidance on how farmers markets should operate or if they are considered essential in places where shelter in place orders are in effect?

A: USDA has not issued any guidance regarding farmers markets. Such decisions are made by localities based on the latest information from the CDC and local and state health agencies.

 

Q: Will USDA food purchases continue?

A: The AMS Commodity Procurement Program (CPP) will remain fully operational and plans to continue to work with Federal, state and local partners to purchase and distribute food to participants in domestic and international nutrition assistance programs. However, many schools and other institutions are closed across the country, and there may be other disruptions at warehouses, ports, and distribution centers. This may result in requests to delay or divert deliveries or provide other flexibilities. We ask that vendors extend as much flexibility as possible and be assured that CPP Contracting Officers will utilize all available contractual flexibilities and contingencies to continue to serve program recipients effectively during this time. To avoid delivery issues and challenges, all contracted vendors should:

  1. Make and confirm delivery appointments prior to shipping; and

  2. Communicate with CPP Contract Specialists or Contracting Officers for any deviation to contractual requirements.

 

Q: Will COVID-19 affect availability or prices of food products in the U.S.?

A: USDA expects the U.S. food market to remain well-supplied and food prices to remain stable, or even decline, in the near future 

 

 

Q: Can I become sick with coronavirus (COVID-19) from food?

A: We are not aware of any reports at this time of human illnesses that suggest COVID-19 can be transmitted by food or food packaging. However, it is always important to follow good hygiene practices (i.e., wash hands and surfaces often, separate raw meat from other foods, cook to the right temperature, and refrigerate foods promptly) when handling or preparing foods.

 

Q: Are meat products compromised by the Coronavirus?

A: We are not aware of any reports at this time of human illnesses that suggest COVID-19 can be transmitted by food or food packaging. However, it is always important to follow good hygiene practices (i.e., wash hands and surfaces often, separate raw meat from other foods, cook to the right temperature, and refrigerate foods promptly) when handling or preparing foods.

 

Q: Is FSIS taking any extra precautions when receiving food products from nations that have confirmed cases of COVID-19?

A: We are not aware of any reports at this time of human illnesses that suggest COVID-19 can be transmitted by food or food packaging. However, it is always important to follow good hygiene practices (i.e., wash hands and surfaces often, separate raw meat from other foods, cook to the right temperature, and refrigerate foods promptly) when handling or preparing foods.

 

Q: Is food imported to the United States from China and other countries affected by COVID-19 at risk of spreading COVID-19?

A: Currently, there is no evidence to support transmission of COVID-19 associated with imported goods and there are no reported cases of COVID-19 in the United States associated with imported goods.

 

Q: Can I get sick with COVID-19 from touching food, the food packaging, or food contact surfaces, if the coronavirus was present on it?

A: Currently there is no evidence of food or food packaging being associated with transmission of COVID-19. Like other viruses, it is possible that the virus that causes COVID-19 can survive on surfaces or objects. For that reason, it is critical to follow the 4 key steps of food safety — clean, separate, cook, and chill.

 

Q: If an inspector or worker in a meat processing plant became infected with coronavirus, would the meat produced at that facility be safe to eat?

A: Public health and food safety experts do not have any evidence to suggest that COVID-19 can be transmitted by food or food packaging. FSIS in-plant personnel who are ill with COVID-19 or any other illness will be excluded from work activities that could create unsanitary conditions (coughing or sneezing on product). COVID-19 is thought to spread mainly from person to person through respiratory droplets that can land in the mouths or noses of people who are nearby. More information about how the virus spread is available from the CDC (www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/about/transmission.html).

 

Q: Where should the food industry go for guidance about business operations?

A: Food facilities, like other work establishments, need to follow protocols set by local and state health departments, which may vary depending on the amount of community spread of COVID-19 in a particular area. We encourage coordination with local health officials for all businesses so that timely and accurate information can guide appropriate responses in each location where their operations reside.

 

Q: Is FSIS requesting that plants report to FSIS if employees become ill with COVID-19? Will the Agency reciprocate?

A: In the event of a diagnosed COVID-19 illness, the Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) will follow, and is encouraging establishments to follow, the recommendations of local public health authorities regarding notification of potential contacts. FSIS will keep the lines of communication open so we can address the evolving situation.

 

Q: Have any of FSIS’ audits of foreign countries’ (or foreign countries auditing the U.S.’) food safety systems been delayed due to COVID-19?

A: As USDA’s public health agency, FSIS is committed to ensuring the safety and wholesomeness of all imported meat, poultry, and processed egg products for American families. For the safety of our auditors, FSIS does not provide the dates when the auditors are scheduled to conduct in-country equivalence audits in a foreign country. FSIS has delayed both U.S. and foreign country audits in accordance with the State Department’s guidance. FSIS continues to monitor the situation and will evaluate the feasibility of its upcoming audits as the situation evolves, including reviewing State Department guidance on foreign travel.

 

Q: How will FSIS-regulated establishments handle cleanup if cases have been identified at the facility?

A: Coronaviruses are enveloped viruses, meaning they are one of the easiest types of viruses to kill with the appropriate disinfectant product. All FSIS-regulated establishments are required to have Sanitation Standard Operating Procedures (Sanitation SOP), which are written procedures that an establishment develops and implements to prevent direct contamination or adulteration of product. It is the establishment’s responsibility to implement the procedures as written in the Sanitation SOPs. The establishment must maintain daily records sufficient to document the implementation and monitoring of the Sanitation SOPs and any corrective action taken. FSIS verifies that regulated establishments adhere to the procedures in place. The same sanitary procedures that establishments are already following to protect food safety will also help prevent the spread of respiratory illnesses like COVID-19.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has published a list of disinfectants that have qualified under EPA's emerging viral pathogen program for use against SARS-CoV-2, the coronavirus that causes COVID-19.

 

Q: Is FSIS requesting/requiring their employees to report if they have been to a Level 3 country (Level 1 or 2)?

A: FSIS employees will be following the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) and State Department’s recommendations for travel.

 

Q: Can a county health department or state government shut down an FSIS-regulated establishment?

A: Yes, and FSIS will follow state and local health department decisions.

 

Q: Is FSIS prepared to handle an increased rate of absenteeism of food inspectors due to COVID-19?

A: Safeguarding and ensuring the U.S. supply chain remains strong is our top priority. Our front-line supervisors and district managers are working closely with state and local health authorities to handle situations as they arise. FSIS is prepared to be operationally nimble and to use all administrative means and flexibilities available to protect the health and safety of employees based on local public health recommendations. Planning for absenteeism is a part of normal FSIS operations. FSIS has a plan and authority to address staffing considerations and is prepared to act accordingly.

 

Q: Is FSIS encouraging inspectors to stay home if they exhibit flu-like symptoms?

A: FSIS always encourages employees who are sick to stay home. Employees exhibiting symptoms are also encouraged to follow recommendations from local, state and Federal public health regarding reporting of illness, consulting with healthcare providers and self-quarantining as necessary.

 

Q: How do I maintain social distancing in my food production/processing facility and food retail establishment where employees typically work within close distances?

A: Workers in the food and agriculture sector fill critical and essential roles within communities. This reality was reinforced by food and agriculture inclusion in a list of Essential Critical Infrastructure Workers (PDF, 591 KB) published last week by DHS’ Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency. To prevent spread of COVID-19, CDC is recommending individuals employ social distancing or maintaining approximately 6 feet from others, when possible. In food production/processing facilities and retail food establishments, an evaluation should be made to identify and implement operational changes that increase employee separation. However, social distancing to the full 6 feet will not be possible in some food facilities.

The risk of an employee transmitting COVID-19 to another is dependent on distance between employees, the duration of the exposure, and the effectiveness of employee hygiene practices and sanitation. When it’s impractical for employees in these settings to maintain social distancing, effective hygiene practices should be maintained to reduce the chance of spreading the virus.

IMPORTANT: Maintaining social distancing in the absence of effective hygiene practices may not prevent the spread of this virus. Food facilities should be vigilant in their hygiene practices, including frequent and proper hand-washing and routine cleaning of all surfaces.

Because the intensity of the COVID-19 outbreak may differ according to geographic location, coordination with state and local officials is strongly encouraged for all businesses so that timely and accurate information can guide appropriate responses in each location where their operations reside.

Sick employees should follow the CDC’s What to do if you are sick (PDF, 516 KB) with coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19).

 

Q: A worker in my food production/processing facility/farm has tested positive for COVID-19. What do I need to do to continue operations while protecting my other employees?

A: All components of the food industry are considered critical infrastructure and it is therefore vital that they continue to operate.

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) issued Guidance on Preparing Workplaces for COVID-19 (PDF, 591 KB) that includes information on how a COVID-19 outbreak could affect workplaces and steps all employers can take (PDF, 1.1 MB) to reduce workers’ risk of exposure to SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19).

Food production/processing facilities/farms need to follow protocols, including cleaning protocols, set by local and state health departments, which may vary depending on the amount of community spread of COVID-19 in a given area. These decisions will be based on public health risk of person-to-person transmission – not based on food safety.

If an employee is confirmed to have COVID-19, employers should inform fellow employees of their possible exposure to COVID-19 in the workplace but maintain confidentiality about individual employees’ identities. Sick employees should follow the CDC’s What to do if you are sick (PDF, 516 KB) with coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19).

CDC’s Interim US Guidance for Risk Assessment and Public Health Managements of Persons with Potential Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) Exposures: Geographic Risk and Contacts of Laboratory-confirmed Cases, provides a framework for assessing and managing risks of potential exposures to SARS-CoV-2.

 

Q: Should employees in food production settings wear face coverings to prevent exposure to COVID-19?

A: On Friday, April 3rd, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released an updated recommendation on the use of cloth face coverings to help slow the spread of COVID-19.

CDC is recommending the voluntary use of cloth face coverings in public settings where other social distancing measures are difficult to maintain, especially in areas of significant community-based transmission. Per the CDC, the purpose of wearing a face covering is to help prevent the transmission of coronavirus from individuals who may be infected, but are not showing symptoms.

Additional information on how to make and wear cloth face coverings is available on the CDC website. CDC recommends that face coverings should:

  • fit snugly but comfortably against the side of the face

  • be secured with ties or ear loops

  • include multiple layers of fabric

  • allow for breathing without restriction

  • be able to be laundered and machine dried without damage or change to shape

NOTE: The cloth face coverings recommended by CDC are not surgical masks or N-95 respirators. Those are critical supplies that must continue to be reserved for healthcare workers and other medical first responders, as recommended by current CDC guidance.

 

Q: Are meat, poultry, and processed egg products inspection services and the issuance of export documentation being discontinued by the Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) Outbreak?

A: No. Meat, poultry, and processed egg inspection services, including export certification services, continue as normal. Planning for absenteeism is a part of normal FSIS operations and as such, FSIS is closely monitoring and tracking employee absenteeism to plan for and minimize impacts to operations. FSIS is working to prioritize inspection at establishments based on local conditions and resources available.

 

Q: Are food products produced in the United States and exported a risk for the spread of COVID-19?

A: No. There is no evidence to suggest that food produced in the United States can transmit COVID-19. Additionally, currently there is no evidence of food or food packaging being associated with transmission of COVID-19.

 

Q: Want to see what the FDA is doing?

A: The FDA also has a list of frequently asked questions such as:

  • Is the U.S. food supply safe?

  • Will there be food shortages?

  • What measures are FDA (and CDC, state partners, etc.) taking to ensure that we remain able to address foodborne illness outbreaks during the COVID-19 pandemic?

          

               Call Us Today at 888-695-9926          

or Email Us at mzRestOps@texas.usa.com

          

               Call Us Today at 888-695-9926          

or Email Us at mzRestOps@texas.usa.com

© 2023 by The Plan. Proudly created with Wix.com