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COVID-19 Preventative Measures - Mass Food Distribution Checklist



Authors as Published

Renee Boyer, Professor and Extension Specialist, Food Science and Technology, Virginia Tech; and Ben Chapman, Professor and Food Safety Extension Specialist, North Carolina State University

Use this checklist while preparing food to distribute to mass groups and while distributing food or ingredients to make sure your organization or group is following best food safety practices during the COVID-19 pandemic.


Do volunteers understand not to arrive at the facility if they are sick, have COVID-19 symptoms or have been in contact with someone that has COVID-19?  
Are handwashing signs displayed remindering volunteers and other people to properly wash their hands?  
Is hand sanitizer readily available for volunteers and other people at the facility?  
Are cloth face coverings provided for volunteers or encouraged for people to wear during the mass food distribution?  


Are perishable foods placed in the refrigerator immediately after transporting?  
Is food prepared in a way to prevent cross-contamination such as utensils and equipment being cleaned and sanitized between tasks?  
Are verified digital thermometers used to check foods are cooked to the proper internal temperature and used to check to temperature of the food while holding?  
Before a large volume of hot food is stored in the refrigerator, is it cooled properly by separating into small portions, devided into shallow pans, placed in an ice water bath or stirred with ice-filled plastic wands?  
Are chemicals and contact times used appropriately for COVID-19 disinfection?  
Are food-grade containers used as well as allergen labels and proper handling instructions applied for foods being delivered or picked up?  


Are procedures set up to ensure volunteers and other people maintain 6 feet apart during food pickup or delivery?  
Are there signs and floor markings in the facility to help with distancing as people pick up their food?  
Are hot foods held at 135ºF or above? Are cold foods held at 41ºF or below?  
Are high touch surfaces cleaned and disinfected after each person pick up their food?  
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Updated August 26, 2020


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Publication Date

September 9, 2020