CORONAVIRUS RESOURCES
FOR OUR INDUSTRY

AFFI has developed this page to provide the best available guidance and share resources compiled from public health agencies and other food trade associations to manage the spread and impact of the coronavirus disease (abbreviated COVID-19).

The outbreak of the new respiratory disease COVID-19 caused by the virus SARS-CoV-2 has impacted the global supply chain economy and day to day commercial activities. For the frozen food industry, this has also raised many unanswered questions such as workforce management, operational and supply chain challenges and communication. We invite you to bookmark this page as a resource since we will update it with new information as it becomes available. 

SARS-CoV-2 virus in yellow. (Image courtesy of NIAID-RML)

Latest Updates

  • AFFI alongside six food industry trade associations released a document to address emergency prevention measures for physical (social) distancing in food manufacturing facilities. This document identifies areas in production where employees can minimize physical contact with other employees such as in common areas and shift changes. It also addresses high-touch points and facility-wide recommendations. Thank you to Food Northwest for providing the base for this effort.
  • As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, restaurants and food manufacturers may have food not labeled for retail sale that they wish to sell at retail. For example, restaurants may have purchased ingredients that they can no longer use to prepare restaurant food and instead wish to sell to their customers. To facilitate the distribution of food during the COVID-19 pandemic, FDA released a guidance document, Guidance for Industry: Temporary Policy Regarding Nutrition Labeling of Certain Packaged Food During the COVID-19 Public Health Emergency
  • AFFI is pleased to offer you Food Industry Recommended Protocol that provides explicit guidance to food manufacturers on how to respond in a way that protects your workforce and keeps your facilities operating.
  • Take the following steps to make sure your business is able to continue working as part of our national’s critical infrastructure:
    1. Inform your local authorities that your facility will remain operational as part of the critical infrastructure of this country. Provide them with this guidance from the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) that defines the industries, including our broad food industry, considered critical.
    2. Inform your workforce of the importance of keeping our food system operating and that includes your company, as part of our nation’s critical infrastructure. Encourage and recognize them for continuing to work.
    3. Provide your workforce with “certification” that they are employed by your company and as such, should be exempt from local restrictions such as curfews, shelter-in-place orders, and other mobility restrictions when reporting to/from work, or performing work functions. For this purpose, you may use this self-certification template for transportation employees and food and agriculture employees on your company letterhead. The language can be modified to suit your company’s needs

Share With Your Networks

Now more than ever we need to thank our food industry workers and encourage them to continue in their critical functions to keep our food system working. Download this infographic and share with your employee outreach and social media.

Resources

Situation Updates

Supply Chain and Trade 

Facility and Operational Management

Employee Care and Human Resources

Community and Family Recommendations

Additional Information

Additional AFFI Member Resources 

General Scientific Information

This website is intended to present AFFI members with practical and science-based information as available. COVID-19 is a respiratory disease that is caused by the novel coronavirus SARS-CoV-2. The disease has spread throughout the world and The World Health Organization has officially determined this outbreak is a pandemic. Common symptoms include high fever, general malaise and weakness, cough, shortness of breath and sore throat. The incubation period is between 2-14 days. The most common known route of transmission is from person to person. So far the disease has disproportionately affected at-risk persons such as the elderly and immunocompromised individuals. While active efforts to develop a vaccine are in progress, it is important to recognize that there is no vaccine available to protect the population.

Current Understanding of Impact to Foods

There is no evidence demonstrating that COVID-19 is transmitted through consumption of foods. Since this is a novel coronavirus, researchers across the world have already begun to conduct specific experiments to evaluate its survivability in food environments. There is some evidence that the virus can survive on a variety of surfaces for up to a week including on food packaging. However, food packaging is also not known to be associated with transmission of the virus.

Good personal hygiene remains the best measure to prevent the spread of the virus. This includes washing hands and surfaces often, separating raw meat from other foods, cooking foods to the right temperature, and refrigerating foods promptly when handling or preparing food (clean, separate, cook, and chill).

To Reach the AFFI Team

The AFFI Scientific and Regulatory Affairs team is prepared to answer your questions related to coronavirus. You can contact Dr. Donna Garren, EVP of Science and Policy at (703)-835-2077, Dr. Sanjay Gummalla at (703)-835-2018 or Dr. Lory Reveil at (703)-835-2081.