Below you can find links that provide advice to the food industry to help minimize personnel risks. We will continue to provide updates to these resources as the situation changes and new information becomes available. Visit this page for a full list of General Industry Resources.
Advice for Food Industry to Minimize Personnel Risks Due to COVID-19
- Visit this page from Employer Assistance and Resource Network on Disability Inclusion to find answers to the following questions (posted on September 29, 2020):
- What strategies can employers use to recruit, hire, and onboard new employees?
- What information may an employer request of an employee or job applicant?
- What steps must an employer take to maintain confidentiality of medical records?
- What protocols or practices may an employer adopt to prevent the transmission of COVID-19 in the workplace?
- Are there reasonable accommodations that will ensure equal employment opportunities for individuals with disabilities that do not pose a direct threat to the health and safety of the individual or others?
- Visit this page from Matrix Sciences to find a good overview of information on Medical Record Retention Requirements for Employers. Posted on June 4, 2020.
- Visit this page from the CDC to find information on CDC Activities and Initiatives Supporting the COVID-19 Response. Posted on May 26, 2020.
- Page 40: Interim Guidance for Child Care Programs
- Page 49: Interim Guidance for Employers with Workers at High Risk
- Visit this page from the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission to find an update on ‘What You Should Know About COVID-19 and the ADA, the Rehabilitation Act, and Other EEO Laws’ allowing an employer to administer COVID-19 testing to employees before they enter the workplace to determine if they have the virus. Posted on April 27, 2020.
- Visit this page from the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission to find a COVID-19 update to Pandemic Preparedness in the Workplace and the Americans with Disabilities Act. Posted on April 13, 2020.
- Visit this page from the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission to find consolidated relevant information and answers to questions from the public about the Equal Employment Opportunity laws and COVID-19. Posted on April 13, 2020.
- NYS Department of Labor created a new web page with an infographic that explains the federal CARES Act and recent changes in unemployment insurance for COVID-19 impacted workforces. This information may be helpful to both employers and employees. Posted on April 8, 2020.
- Visit this page to find a letter from US Congressman John Katko with information on resources available to local farms and agricultural businesses in Central New York that have been crippled by the COVID-19 pandemic. Posted on April 8, 2020.
- Visit this FAQ to find information on how to access the federal Paycheck Protection Program for your agricultural or food-related business. Posted on April 3, 2020.
- Visit this page from the FDA to find information on Flexibility Regarding Menu Labeling Requirements for Chain Restaurants and Similar Retail Food Establishments During the COVID-19 Pandemic. Posted on April 2, 2020.
- Visit this page from the FDA to find information on their Temporary Policy Regarding Nutrition Labeling of Certain Packaged Food During the COVID-19 Public Health Emergency. Posted on March 31, 2020.
- Visit this page for a copy of the U.S. DOL guidance explaining paid sick leave and expanded family and medical leave under the Families First Coronavirus Response Act. Posted on March 31, 2020.
- Employers are required to post these posters to inform employees of these benefits. A copy of the poster can be found here and a copy of the poster in Spanish can be found here. Posters must be displayed in a conspicuous place. If the workplace is closed, employers must still get them to staff and may email them to staff. Posted on March 31, 2020.
- Visit this page from The Business Council of New York State to find a good overview of recently passed NYS and Federal policies on employee benefits, sick, family and medical leave. Posted on March 26, 2020.
- Visit this page from the United States Department of Labor for guidance on federal sick leave and family and medical leave policies during the COVID-19 outbreak. Posted on March 24, 2020.
- Visit this page from the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission to find information on the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and the Rehabilitation Act in relation to COVID-19. Posted on March 23, 2020.
- Visit this page from U.S. Department of Homeland Security to find Memorandum on Identification of Essential Critical Infrastructure Workers During COVID-19 Response. Posted on March 20, 2020.
- Visit this page from the New York State, Department of Health, and Agriculture and Markets to find information on their Interim Guidance for Cleaning and Disinfection of Food Manufacturing Facilities or Food Retail Stores. Posted on March 17, 2020.
- Visit this page from the New York State, Department of Health, and Agriculture and Markets to find information on their Interim Guidance for Procedures when Identifying an Employee with Concerns for COVID-19 Exposure. Posted on March 17, 2020.
Guidelines on Protecting Employees
- Visit this page from the CDC to find Guidance for People Living in the Same Household. Posted on May 29, 2020.
- What Workers and Employers Can Do to Manage Workplace Fatigue during COVID-19. Posted on May 21, 2020.
- Visit this page for short informational videos about how to prevent the spread of COVID-19 in Spanish and Mam. Posted on March 25, 2020.
- Visit this page from the U.S. Department of Labor & U.S. Department of Health & Human Services for information on how to prepare workplaces and protect the employees. Posted on March 17, 2020.
- Visit this page from the U.S. Department of Labor, The Wage and Hour Division, to find common issues employers and employees face when responding to public health emergencies. Posted on March 17, 2020.
- Visit this page from the FDA to find information on Non-contact Temperature Assessment Devices During the COVID-19 Pandemic. Posted on June 22, 2020.
- Visit this page from the Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy (CIDRAP) to find a good overview of COVID-19 tests, how to use the tests, and how to interpret the test results. Posted on May 26, 2020.
- Visit this page from the New York State, Department of Health to find information on where essential workers can get tested in New York State. Posted on May 20, 2020.
- Visit this page from the New York State, Department of Health if you are concerned about COVID-19 and would like to take an online assessment. Posted on May 20, 2020.
- Visit this page from the CDC to find information on their Symptom-Based Strategy to Discontinue Isolation for Persons with COVID-19. Posted on May 7, 2020.
- Visit this page from the CDC to find information on Contact Tracing. Posted on May 1, 2020.
- Visit this page from the CDC to find information on Serologic (Antibody) Testing and how to interpret the results. Posted on April 29, 2020.
- Visit this page from the CDC to find information on COVID-19 symptoms and when to seek medical attention. Posted on April 28, 2020.
- Visit this page from the Food and Beverage Issue Alliance (FBIA) to find guidelines on Screening Food Industry Employees for COVID-19 Symptoms or Exposure. Posted on April 7, 2020.
If you have specific questions around ingredients, cleaning/sanitation chemicals and procedures, personnel practices, or other food safety, supply, and distribution changes due to the impact of COVID-19, 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) and Gretchen Wall (email@example.com)
- Processed Fruits and Vegetables: Dr. Martin Wiedmann (firstname.lastname@example.org) and Dr. Randy Worobo (email@example.com)
- Fermented Beverages: Dr. Anna Katharine Mansfield (firstname.lastname@example.org) and Chris Gerling (email@example.com)
- All Other Foods: Dr. Olga Padilla-Zakour (firstname.lastname@example.org) and Dr. Bruno Xavier (email@example.com)
- For Resources in Spanish: Karen Ospina (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Our team can also provide process authority services in case you need to change processes and/or formulations due to COVID-19 related challenges. 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 U.S. Department of Agriculture.