COVID-19 Management Control Strategies for Food Facilities
This free course is designed to provide food industry managers and supervisors with the tools and resources to help manage the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on their employees and business operations. While we recommend participants work their way through the entire series of modules, they can choose to take individual modules as stand-alone lessons.
For questions, please contact Aljosa Trmcic.
- Module 1: Course Introduction and Objectives
- Module 2: Risk-based Framework Overview
- Module 3: The Biology of COVID-19: Virus Properties, Symptoms, and Mechanisms of Spread
- Module 4: COVID-19 Risk Factors
- Module 5: Basic Control Factors
- Module 6: Proactive Mitigation Strategies
- Module 7: Reactive Mitigation Strategies
- Module 8: Verification and Validation of Mitigation Strategies
- Module 9: Modeling COVID-19 Mitigation Strategies in your Facility
- Module 10: Developing a COVID-19 Control Culture
- Module 11: Developing and Communicating Front-line Training
Module 1 covers the outline of the course and where participants can access resources.
Module 2 covers the importance of evaluating COVID-19 control strategies from a "risk-based" perspective to have optimal impact.
Module 3 covers virus characteristics and properties that are relevant to food processors. Topics include (i) why it is unlikely to contract COVID-19 from food or food packaging (ii) why SARS-CoV-2 cannot survive in food or on surfaces for long periods of time, and (iii) the importance of vaccinations.
Module 4 covers how facilities should evaluate COVID-19 risk factors to focus on what's most important to preventing the spread of COVID-19. Topics include evaluating workforce risk at an individual, facility, and community level.
Module 5 covers the most basic and effective control factors for controlling COVID-19 and preventing the spread of the virus. Topics include (1) What to do when symptoms are shown, (2) Maintaining Social Distancing, (3) Utilizing face coverings properly, (4) Important factors for hand and respiratory hygiene, and (5) Keeping an eye on evolving vaccine information.
Module 6 covers COVID-19 mitigation programs that facilities should consider including (1) screening programs, (2) surveillance programs, and (3) programs that support personal mitigation practices.
Module 7 covers reactive mitigation strategies that facilities should consider before a positive case is identified among employees including (i) isolation/quarantine, (ii) contact tracing, and (iii) cleaning.
Module 8 covers the benefits of verifying and validating COVID-19 control strategies in food facilities. Key concepts include (i) the FDA and CDC strategies that are most important to minimize transmission in food facilities, (ii) consistent implementation and documentation of these strategies, and (iii) benefits of using a formal system to improve the control of COVID-19 and reduce legal liability.
Module 9 includes an introduction to modeling infectious diseases and how COVID-19 can be modeled in a food production operation. Key concepts include (i) using equations to model and describe COVID-19 spread, (ii) utilizing model predictions to support decision making, and (iii) employing models to test different mitigation strategies before implementing those strategies in food facilities.
Module 10 covers developing a COVID-19 culture. Key concepts include factors and practices that influence the culture and attitudes regarding COVID-19 in the facility.
Module 11 covers what should be considered when developing training for frontline employees related to the coronavirus. Key concepts include (i) recognizing that training is important and information will be changing as we learn more, (ii) the importance of consistency and clarity, and (iii) understanding your audience when developing training and communication.
If you have specific questions around ingredients, cleaning/sanitation chemicals and procedures, personnel practices, or other food safety, supply, and distribution changes, reach out to our experts:
- Dairy: Rob Ralyea (firstname.lastname@example.org) and Kimberly Bukowski (email@example.com)
- Fresh Produce: Dr. Elizabeth Bihn (firstname.lastname@example.org)
- Processed Fruits and Vegetables: Dr. Martin Wiedmann (email@example.com) and Dr. Randy Worobo (firstname.lastname@example.org)
- Fermented Beverages: Dr. Anna Katharine Mansfield (email@example.com) and Chris Gerling (firstname.lastname@example.org)
- All Other Foods: Dr. Olga Padilla-Zakour (email@example.com) and Dr. Bruno Xavier (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Our team can also provide process authority services in case you need to change processes and/or formulations. For more information visit the Cornell Food Venture Center and for dairy-related process authority services contact Rob Ralyea (email@example.com).
This work is supported by USDA NIFA AFRI Grant NO:2020-68006-32875/ Accession no. 1024254 from the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture. Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed on this website are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the view of the USDA.