There is no CDC report that COVID-19 is transmitted through food, but evidence suggests it may remain viable for hours to days on surfaces. CDC recommends cleaning followed by disinfection as a best practice for prevention of COVID-19.
WHAT DISINFECTANTS SHOULD BE USED?
- CDC advises using compounds on the list of EPA recommended disinfectants, found at: go.ncsu.edu/epacovid-19.
- Note: this list is based on current data, but compounds have not been validated for inactivation of the virus causing COVID-19
- Check with chemical suppliers to see if currently used compounds are on the list and if changes need to be made for them to be used effectively
- To use heat, run utensils or equipment through a commercial dishwasher that will heat to 145°F (65°C) or higher for five minutes or longer. Alternatively, hot water maintained at or above 145°F (65°C) can be used.
HOW SHOULD SURFACES BE HANDLED?
- EPA recommended commercial disinfectants should be used on the following as often as is practical:
- Tables, chairs, counter, handrails, etc
- All self-service surfaces, including: buffet/salad bar lines, shakers, bottles, condiments, etc.
- Restroom surfaces, including: doorknobs, faucets, handles, etc.
- Avoid wiping surfaces with water only; use a disinfectant.
HOW SHOULD SELF-SERVICE AREAS BE HANDLED?
- Utensils in self-service areas should be changed as often as possible. Management should assess how frequently they are used and make decisions.
- Consider moving self-serve items like condiments and utensils to behind the employee counter to minimize contact, if possible.
WHAT SHOULD BE DONE IF A GUEST IS DIAGNOSED WITH COVID-19?
- Contact and coordinate with the health department, as they will want to trace both employee and guest contacts and can advise on guest messaging.
- CDC recommends if a facility has a known case of COVID-19 in their restaurant they should close that area off and wait as long as practical to begin cleaning and disinfecting.
Stay informed: ext.vt.edu/covid-19updates
Updated April 27, 2020
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March 17, 2020