Though it is unlikely that the COVID-19 virus will be spread via packaged food, the entire country is on high alert and taking no chances. Precautions are being put in place and taken by every industry on the planet in an effort to curtail the virus from spreading. The thought of an infected individual handling the food you feed yourself and your family is nearly inconceivable! To put everyone at ease, the food processing industry has taken precautions of their own, specific to the business.
COVID-19 safety barriers for food processing offer improved safety measures to guard not only the public, but the employees as well. But first, let’s see what can be done initially to fit the virus.
The way we wash our hands, the length of time for which we wash them, and what we use to wash our hands was immediately proven to be an important part of the fight against the coronavirus – and it still is. Particularly in the food industry, handwashing is crucial – all the way from fast food joints to fine food restaurants and even processing plants.
Food safety plan needs must be met by appropriate hand soap choices, as well as them being fragrance free. If possible, CHG (chlorhexidine gluconate) and other compounds can be used to kill bacteria.
Always have appropriate supplies on hand (i.e. clean paper towels, the appropriate hand soap, etc.), and constantly remind employees regarding correct hand washing procedures. To encourage handwashing at every given opportunity, increased handwashing locations/stations should be provided throughout the plant.
Whenever possible, hand sanitizer should also be offered throughout any and every facility.
Facility Wide Protection
At all times, food safety guidelines should be followed and completely understood by production employees. However, administrative roles play a big part, as well. To help minimize virus spread and guard the health of everyone concerned, best practices should be known and communicated by management.
Guidelines are available through HHS (United States Department of Health and Human Resources) the CDC (Center for Disease Control), OSHA, and more.
What if, within your facility, it is confirmed that one or more individuals have contracted the virus? The suggestion by the Department of Health dictates that, in the case the virus is confirmed within your facility, for a deep cleaning, shutting down for 72 hours is recommended. The most effective products possible should be used for cleanup. Disinfectants and sanitizers are regulated by the EPA (Environmental Protection Agency), who have offered a list of effective, antimicrobial products.
In the case of an infected employee, do the following:
- Encourage the infected employee to initially call, rather than personally visit, their healthcare provider.
- Tell the infected employee to stay home.
- Identify anyone that the infected employee may have closely contacted.
- Thoroughly clean any workstation and other surfaces that the infected employee came into contact with.
Providing Better Protection During a Pandemic
Anchor Industries Inc. is a highly aware of the effect the pandemic has had on the entire world. For that reason (and more), we have put great effort into coming up with ways to assist industries with social distancing and better protection of both employee and consumer health.
A number of barriers have been manufactured, since the inception of the coronavirus, for the precise purpose of protecting employees and consumers. Currently, we feature the Porta-Shield® Connect and Porta-Shields to help social distance your workplace.
At Anchor Industries Inc., we also manufacture high quality fabric and frame products for numerous market segments. Included among our specialty products are those which meet highly specialized