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COVID-19 pandemic: OSHA releases guidance for food and beverage industry

Photo: carterdayne/iStockphoto

Washington — Aimed at protecting restaurant/food and beverage workers from exposure to COVID-19, a new OSHA safety alert lists measures employers should take during the pandemic.

Released May 1, the alert calls on employers to encourage workers to stay home when sick, as well as report any safety and health concerns. The agency advises workers to avoid direct handoffs of items when possible. Employers should ensure 6 feet of distance is maintained between co-workers, between customers and workers, and between customers.

“Mark 6-foot distances with floor tape in pickup lines, encourage customers to pay ahead of time by phone or online, temporarily move workstations to create more distance, and install plexiglass partitions, if feasible,” OSHA states.


Other tips:

  • Allow workers to wear masks over their nose and mouth to prevent the spread of germs.
  • Provide a handwashing area or hand sanitizers with at least 60% alcohol.
  • Reserve customer parking spaces near the entrance for pickup only.
  • Display a sign on a door or sidewalk with the services available (e.g., takeout, curbside pickup), instructions for pickup, and hours of operation.
  • Use disinfectant products listed by the Environmental Protection Agency as effective against the coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2) that causes COVID-19.

The alert is available in English and Spanish.

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