AFDO COVID-19 Situation Update

Links to most guidance documents and information in this communication can be found on the AFDO COVID-19 Resources Page at for ease of use on an ongoing basis. 
After weeks of shutdown because of the coronavirus pandemic, the nation has begun to slowly open up. This is the state of the country -- for information about the situation, read more at the New York Times website.
  • Source New York Times May 14, 2020  
What is New Today?

FDA Releases COVID-19 Social Media Toolkit

On Tuesday, the FDA released social media toolkits resources in English and Spanish for sharing information about COVID-19 and the FDA response to the pandemic. Materials are downloadable and usable free of charge and cover several COVID-19 related topics
. See these resources here

Free COVID-19 Protection Strategies for Food Service Available 
The outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic has brought huge impact to the entire world and more specifically to the way people live and think. Ecolab has developed free strategic resources to help navigate these unprecedented challenges to food service, sharing critical and relevant information to help prevent the spread of infection and provide guidance on re-opening and maintaining a clean, safe and healthy operation. See this toolbox here. 
Returning Repurposed Refrigerated Transport Vehicles and Storage Units to Traditional Use During COVID-19
The FDA has been asked whether refrigerated food transport vehicles and refrigerated food storage units used for the temporary preservation of human remains during the COVID-19 pandemic subsequently can be used to transport and store human and animal food. FDA is issuing this guidance to provide information and resources related to the cleaning and disinfection of such vehicles and storage units to address food safety before they are used again to transport and store food. Read the FDA guidance here.

CDC Shares Case Study of High SARS-CoV-2 Attack Rate Following Exposure at a Choir Practice 

The potential for superspreader events underscores the importance of physical distancing, including avoiding gathering in large groups, to control spread of COVID-19. Enhancing community awareness can encourage symptomatic persons and contacts of ill persons to isolate or self-quarantine to prevent ongoing transmission.
Read more about this case here.
Worth Repeating...
Food Groups Develop Decision Tool for Manufacturing Operations

AFFI, Consumer Brands Association, United Fresh Produce Association, American Bakers Association, National Fisheries Institute, International Dairy Foods Association and others worked together to draft a decision tool for manufacturers.  Thee tool can be used by public health officials as well.  It is available here
FDA Updates on Surveillance Inspections During COVID-19
Monday, Commissioner Stephen M. Hahn M.D. of the FDA released updates on surveillance inspections. The FDA will continue to utilize and implement additional alternative inspection tools and approaches while postponing domestic and foreign routine surveillance inspections. This will continue as local, national and international conditions warrant, with the exception of certain mission critical inspections. Mission critical inspections are identified on a case-by-case basis and conducted with appropriate safety measures in place. Read more here.

FDA Releases Best Practices for Re-Opening Food Establishments During COVID-19

Late Friday, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued two documents, a checklist and an infographic, designed to assist retail food establishments that might have been closed or partially closed during the COVID-19 pandemic in preparing to reopen. The two documents are designed to help businesses that prepare food to serve or sell to the public directly, such as restaurants, bakeries, bars and carry-outs, protect employee and public health as they reopen for business. 

Please see the link below for further information and tools

Best Practices for Re-Opening Retail Food Establishments During the COVID-19 Pandemic

AFDO Provides Planning Guidance for Food Establishments Reopening
The Association of Food and Drug Officials is sharing guidance and resources to help food service plan for reopening. This document is not all encompassing but provides some ideas for planning to return to partial and eventually full operation as restrictions are removed. Each operation may need to modify this guidance based on their jurisdiction. It is important to do this preliminary work now so operators can focus on cooking and serving once the doors are open. Check out this guidance here.
COVID-19 Food Safety Materials Available in Additional Languages

Yesterday, the FDA released informational materials for food industry in Spanish, Somali and other languages. This assistance provides food safety best practices for retail food stores, restaurants and food pick-up/delivery services during the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • Spanish resource: What to Do if You Have COVID-19 Confirmed Positive or Exposed Workers in Your Food Production, Storage, or Distribution Operations Regulated by FDA
  • Spanish resource: Use of Respirators, Facemasks, and Cloth Face Coverings in the Food and Agriculture Sector During Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) Pandemic
  •  Somali, Af Soomaali resource: Best Practices for Retail Food Stores, Restaurants, and Food Pick-Up/Delivery Services During the COVID-19 Pandemic
  • Hmong, Hmoob resource: Best Practices for Retail Food Stores, Restaurants, and Food Pick-Up/Delivery Services During the COVID-19 Pandemic
Learn More and Register

FDA Continues to Respond to Questions 

The Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) Food and Cosmetic Information Center (FCIC)/Technical Assistance Network (TAN) continues to release responses for questions of interest to AFDO members regarding COVID-19These answers can be found here.

It's important to check back frequently for the latest as well as visit the AFDO COVID-19 Resource Page.

This is in addition to updating its COVID-19 Frequently Asked Questions page to include guidance regarding food products.  Real time updates of the FDA's Food Safety and the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) page can be found at Updates are dated so you are able to tell what information has been added each time. 

As part of the AFDO commitment to providing information and resources to members and the those we serve, we continue to add resources to the
 COVID-19 Resource PageWe continue to offer links to information that has been developed by our partnerships and other subject matter experts. If you identify resources that should be considered or your organization develops some of your own that can be shared with other members, please email them or the link to We appreciate everyone who helps us be more prepared.

AFDO Professional Development Series Continues to Add More Offerings - From Manufacturing Practices to Food Trucks to Cannabis

The Association of Food and Drug Officials is continuing its support of our regulatory and industry partners until the COVID-19 outbreak subsides. We continue to provide relevant content to keep staff engaged by offering a growing series of webinars and web-based training courses that can be utilized for staff development. We have provided a variety of courses and webinars and new offerings are added every day.  Please check the webpage to look for the daily additions. And if you missed a webinar, those recordings are available through this page as well. All webinars, webinar recordings and courses are free! Just register for the course using the “Register Now” link associated with that course to obtain the log-in information.
In addition, you can access the AFDO podcast catalog at the following links. Videos can be found at and audio podcasts at Or download the AFDO app (IT'S FREE) so you can listen or watch on the go. The app is available for iPhone and Android.

If there are topics of interest that you think should be in our catalog, please let us know by emailing

No CEU's or Certificates of Attendance will be available for these sessions. 
Copyright © 2020 Association of Food and Drug Officials, All rights reserved.

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