Coronavirus Information and Resources for the Massachusetts Restaurant Industry
To ensure that restaurants have the latest information about coronavirus, the National Restaurant Association created this industry-specific guidance for owners and operators. The industry works day in and day out at food safety. You can find out more about ongoing ServSafe training and certification programs here .

What is 2019-nCoV Coronavirus?
2019-nCoV (Coronavirus) is virus that causes the COVID-19 respiratory illness. It was first detected in Wuhan, China. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), it’s unclear how easily or sustainably this virus is spreading between people. Typically, respiratory viruses are most contagious when an individual is most symptomatic, but there have been reports of the virus spreading when the affected individual does not show any symptoms.

Can the Coronavirus be spread through food, including refrigerated or frozen food?
According to the CDC , “Coronaviruses are generally thought to be spread from person-to-person through respiratory droplets. Currently there is no evidence to support transmission of COVID-19 associated with food.”

How are restaurants responding?
The foodservice industry follows strict local public health guidelines. To meet these guidelines, restaurants have safety protocols and best practices in place, including guidance from ServSafe . The Commonwealth of Massachusetts Food Protection Program encourages following the same safety protocols that are in place for other similar situations.

Recommendations for the Industry
  • Provide alcohol-based hand sanitizer stations throughout the operation
  • Increase cleaning and disinfecting frequency for high-touch surfaces
  • Closely monitor employee health. Reinforce personal hygiene and cough etiquette. Encourage symptomatic employees to stay home
  • Have employees disinfect all personal hard surfaces referenced on the product label.
  • Educate and inform all employees of infection status and proper infection control procedures.
  • Consider implement social distancing in your dining room; since guest counts may be down, remove tables and provide increased distance between guests. consider marketing to customers that you are implementing this practice.
  • Increase hand-washing requirements for all employees entering the kitchen and food preparation areas.

What can we all do?
The CDC suggests that people take the same steps they would to keep from getting the flu: get a flu vaccine, take everyday preventative actions – like washing your hands often – and see a doctor when you are sick.

Both the World Health Organization (WHO) and Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) have issued guidance for preparing a workplace for COVID-19 that include tips for preventing the spread of the virus and steps to reduce workers’ risk of exposure.

Where can I find the EPA list of antimicrobial products for use against the novel Coronavirus SARS-CoV-2?
On March 3, the EPA released a list of registered disinfectant products that have qualified under its emerging viral pathogen program for use again SARS-CoV-2. You can find the list here .
What is the impact to the supply chain?
It is still unknown if or how the coronavirus will impact the foodservice supply chain. Many organizations and researchers are monitoring developments.

What about Insurance for my business?
Twinbrook Insurance has passed along a technical discussion of what may or may not be covered under certain policies:

Actionable Information from the National Restaurant Association
Other Resources
U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Occupational Safety and Health Administration

World Health Organization

Johns Hopkins CSSE

Supply Chain Research and Resources
Massachusetts Restaurant Association
160 East Main Street, Suite 2, Westborough, MA 01581
Phone: (508) 303-9905