Keeping Our Communities Fed
Food and beverage establishments continue to be crucial assets in their communities to ensure that no one goes hungry. Governor Kate Brown’s order for social distancing and the consequent closure of dining rooms across Oregon to help in slowing the spread of COVID-19 has had a dramatic impact on the workers and families who depend on foodservice establishments to provide their next meal.
In recent weeks, many operators have pivoted to expand menu offerings to accommodate expanded carryout, offer curbside service, an innovate service models to serve their communities.
Below is information on:
Guidance for Selling Product in Temporary Retail Setting
To provide service to communities and afford restaurateurs alternative financial and employment viability during this public health crisis, restrictions on the resale of bulk foods are being lifted and new temporary permissions instituted. Restaurants can provide certain goods to consumers for purchase or donation. Allowed products include: household goods, such as toilet paper, paper towels, general cleaning supplies (sanitizing tablets, cleaning supplies, etc.), and food items such as non-perishable goods and unopened containers of milk and dairy products, packaged cheeses, raw meats and poultry.
The FDA Provides Restaurants and Food Manufacturers Flexibility on Nutrition Labeling of Certain Packaged Food
For restaurants that wish to sell packaged food to consumers directly, or to other businesses for sale to consumers, the FDA does not intend to object if the packaged food lacks a Nutrition Facts label, provided that the food does not have any nutrition claims and contains other required information on the label, including the following, as applicable:
For food manufacturers that have inventory on hand that is labeled for use in restaurants, the FDA does not intend to object to the sale of packaged food that lacks a Nutrition Facts label by food manufacturers, provided that the food does not have any nutrition claims and contains other required information on the label, including the following, as applicable:
For more information on the labeling announcement, click here.
Guidance for Restaurants Providing Takeout / Grab-and-Go Service
CDC, FDA and USDA are not aware of any reports at this time that suggest COVID-19 can be transmitted by food or food packaging. Current evidence shows the biggest risk of transmission of COVID-19 is being around individuals who are symptomatic (and to a lesser extent, infected but not showing symptoms.) Food businesses should be following employee health policies and health department recommendations to keep these individuals' home.
The Oregon Health Authority has provided the following guidance for providing acceptable takeout/grab-and-go methods:
These are some steps you should consider taking to keep your employees and communities safe:
U.S. FDA Information and best Practices: Best Practices for Retail Food Stores, Restaurants, and Food Pick-Up/Delivery Services
COVID-19 and Food, Pool and Lodging Facilities: Questions and Answers for LPHAs on Governor’s Orders in Response to the COVID-19