OSHA Offers Carryout Guidance for Restaurant

With many restaurants limited to offering food and beverage carryout and curbside pickup options because of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has published guidelines suggesting best practices to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

To prevent exposures with customers, OSHA recommends that food and beverage vendors:
• Avoid direct hand-offs when possible.
• Display an external sign with services available, instructions for pickup, and hours of operation.
• Reserve parking spaces near the front entrance for curbside pickup only.

To prevent exposures between restaurant personnel, OSHA recommends that restaurants:
• Encourage workers to stay home if they are ill.
• Train workers in hygiene practices and proper controls, such as social distancing.
• Allow workers to wear masks or face coverings.
• Provide handwashing stations and alcohol-based hand rubs.
• Encourage workers to report any safety or health concerns.

Meat processing and packing facilities around the United States have emerged as hotspots for COVID-19. While handling and processing meat and poultry does not expose workers to coronavirus, close contact with coworkers and supervisors may contribute to their potential exposures.

The interim guidance from OSHA includes recommendations on the following:
• Cleaning of shared meatpacking and processing tools.
• Screening employees for the coronavirus before they enter work facilities.
• Managing workers who are showing symptoms of the coronavirus.
• Implementing appropriate engineering, administrative, and work practice controls.
• Using appropriate personal protective equipment.
• Practicing social distancing at the workplace.

The recommendations also call for designating a qualified workplace coordinator to be responsible for COVID-19 assessment and control planning. The coordinator should be identified as the contact person for any state/local health officials or OSHA. All workers in the facility should know how to contact the identified coordinator with any COVID-19 concerns. Facility management is encouraged to reach out to state and/or local public health officials and occupational safety and health professionals and establish ongoing communications to make sure they are getting relevant and up-to-date information concerning COVID-19