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.
- AFFI alongside six food industry trade associations released a document to address 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:
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.
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 and on your company letterhead. The language can be modified to suit your company’s needs
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
- John Hopkins Coronavirus Tracker
- State By State Coronavirus Resources
Supply Chain and Trade
- Federal Guidance Defining Critical Infrastructure During a national emergency.
- The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s National Emergency Declaration for Commercial Vehicles Delivering Relief
- Global Cold Chain Alliance: COVID-19 Information for Cold Storage Warehouses
Facility and Operational Management
- CDC: Coronavirus Page
- FDA: Coronavirus Page
- WHO: Coronavirus Page
- USDA: Temporary Allowances for Labels Going to Retail
- The Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency Coronavirus Risk Management
- Memo on Identification of Critical Workers
- Join the COVID-19 business and infrastructure call series. These calls are hosted by DHS Cybersecurity and FEMA’s Office of Response and Recovery Logistics Management Directorate. They will occur twice weekly every Tuesday/Thursday starting today at 3 p.m. ET. You can call in at 3 p.m. with conference line below:
- Dial-In #: 1-800-593-7177
- Passcode/PIN: 7963614
- Department of Labor Guidance
- Small Business Administration: Guidance for Businesses
- EPA: Disinfectants Approved for Use Against SARS-CoV-2
Employee Care and Human Resources
- Food Industry Recommended Protocols When Employee/Customer Tests Positive for COVID- 19
- Family and Medical Leave – Public Health Emergencies
- CDC: Criteria to Return to Work for Employees
- USDA Guidance on COVID-19 Health Questionnaires
- EEOC Guidance for Employers
- Department of Labor Guidance
- AFFI webinar (3.19.20) on HR challenges.
- AFFI’s Legal Counsel Hogan Lovells:
Community and Family Recommendations
- CDC Mitigation Strategies for Communities
- CDC Community Safety Infographic
- CDC Guidance for Preventing the Spread of COVID-19 in Homes and Residential Communities
- FDA Coronavirus Resource and Q&A
- CDC Coronavirus Resource and Q&A
- WHO Coronavirus Resource and Q&A
- FEMA Coronavirus Rumor Control
- The Food and Beverage Issues Alliance held two webinars, one on COVID-19 Facts and Fiction for the Food Industry and COVID-19 the Current Situation. See AFFI’s notes here.
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).