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FSIS

Web Content Viewer (JSR 286)

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Web Content Viewer (JSR 286)

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Web Content Viewer (JSR 286)

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Web Content Viewer (JSR 286)

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Web Content Viewer (JSR 286)

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Common Questions about Food Safety and COVID-19

 

  1. Is FSIS is requesting that plants report to FSIS if employees become ill with COVID-19?  Will the Agency reciprocate? 

    In the event of a diagnosed COVID-19 illness, FSIS will follow and is encouraging establishments to follow the recommendations of local public health authorities regarding notification of potential contacts. FSIS will keep the lines of communication open so we can address the evolving situation.
     
  2. Have any of FSIS’ audits of foreign counties (or foreign countries auditing the U.S.’) food safety systems been delayed due to COIVD-19?

    As USDA’s public health agency, the Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) is committed to ensuring the safety and wholesomeness of all imported meat, poultry, and processed egg products for American families. For the safety of our auditors, FSIS does not provide the dates when the auditors are scheduled to conduct in-country equivalence audits in a foreign country. FSIS has delayed both U.S. and foreign country audits in accordance with the State Department’s guidance. FSIS continues to monitor the situation and will evaluate the feasibility of its upcoming audits as the situation evolves, including reviewing State Department guidance on foreign travel.
     
  3. How will FSIS-regulated establishments handle cleanup if cases have been identified at the facility?

    Coronaviruses are enveloped viruses, meaning they are one of the easiest types of viruses to kill with the appropriate disinfectant product. All FSIS-regulated establishments are required to have Sanitation Standard Operating Procedures (Sanitation SOPs), which are written procedures that an establishment develops and implements to prevent direct contamination or adulteration of product. It is the establishment’s responsibility to implement the procedures as written in the Sanitation SOPs. The establishment must maintain daily records sufficient to document the implementation and monitoring of the Sanitation SOPs and any corrective action taken. FSIS verifies that regulated establishments adhere to the procedures in place.  The same sanitary procedures that establishments are already following to protect food safety will also help prevent the spread of respiratory illnesses like COVID-19.

    EPA has published a list of disinfectants that have qualified under EPA's emerging viral pathogen program for use against SARS-CoV-2, the coronavirus that causes COVID-19.
     
  4.  Is FSIS requesting/requiring their employees to report if they have been to a Level 3 country (Level 1 or 2)?

     FSIS employees will be following CDC’s and State Department’s recommendations for travel.
     
  5. Can a county health department or state government shut down an FSIS-regulated establishment?

    Yes, and FSIS will follow state and local health department decisions. 
     
  6. Is FSIS requesting that plants report to FSIS if employees become ill with COVID-19?  Will the Agency reciprocate? 

    In the event of a diagnosed COVID-19 illness, FSIS will follow and is encouraging establishments to follow the recommendations of local public health authorities regarding notification of potential contacts. FSIS will keep the lines of communication open so we can address the evolving situation.

 

Last Modified Mar 18, 2020