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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 List

Module 1 Video ThumbnailModule 1

Course Introduction and Objectives

Module 1 covers the outline of the course and where participants can access resources.

Module 2 Video ThumbnailModule 2

Risk-based Framework Overview

Module 2 covers the importance of evaluating COVID-19 control strategies from a "risk-based" perspective to have optimal impact.

Module 3 Video ThumbnailModule 3

The Biology of COVID-19

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 Video ThumbnailModule 4

COVID-19 Risk Factors

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 Video ThumbnailModule 5

Basic Control Factors

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 Video ThumbnailModule 6

Proactive COVID-19 Mitigation Strategies

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 Video ThumbnailModule 7

Reactive COVID-19 Mitigation Strategies

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 8Module 8 Video Thumbnail

Verification and Validation of Mitigation Strategies

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 Video ThumbnailModule 9

Modeling COVID-19 Mitigation Strategies Within Your Facility

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 Video ThumbnailModule 10

Developing a COVID-19 Control Culture

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 Video ThumbnailModule 11

Developing and Communicating a Front-line COVID-19 Training

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:

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 (


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.