Food Safety and the Coronavirus Disease 2019

The following information is sourced from the webpage of the US Food and Drug Administration. The principles have wide application to the food industry across the planet.

Workers in the food and agriculture sector fill critical and essential roles within communities. Promoting the ability of our workers within the food and agriculture industry to continue to work during periods of community restrictions, social distances, and closure orders, among others, is crucial to community continuity and community resilience. 

 
Because the intensity of the COVID-19 outbreak may differ according to geographic location, coordination with state and local officials is strongly encouraged for all businesses so that timely and accurate information can guide appropriate responses in each location where their operations reside.  
 
The FDA has issued guidance for the temporary compounding of certain alcohol-based hand sanitizers by pharmacists in state-licensed pharmacies or federal facilities and registered outsourcing facilities.  See Immediately in Effect Guidance for Industry: Policy for Temporary Compounding of Certain Alcohol-Based Hand Sanitizer Products During the Public Health Emergency.  FDA has also issued guidance for the temporary preparation of certain alcohol-based hand sanitizer products by firms during the public health emergency (COVID-19).  See Guidance for Industry: Temporary Policy for Preparation of Certain Alcohol-Based Hand Sanitizer Products During the Public Health Emergency (COVID-191).
 
Hand sanitizers are not intended to replace handwashing in food production and retail settings.  Instead, hand sanitizers may be used in addition to or in combination with proper handwashing.  CDC recommends that everyone wash their hands with plain soap and water. Alcohol-based hand sanitizers may be used if plain soap and water are not available.
 
Further recommendations from the FDA are on the source website and may prove helpful to food business irrespective of where they are located.