Many food retailers and restaurants have been closed for the past months, while others have been partially closed and offering take-out or delivery to customers during the COVID-19 pandemic. To better help food retail establishments during this uncertain time, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has published a food safety re-opening checklist as well as best practices infographic for previously closed establishments or those that have been open with limited service related to the COVID-19 pandemic.

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 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. In addition, the FDA called on retail food businesses to partner with local regulatory/health authorities to discuss the specific requirements for their retail food establishment prior to re-opening.

To visit the FDA Best Practices page, click here.