Managing Operations in a Food service Establishment or Retail Food Store – FDA
Help customers maintain good infection control and social distancing by:
· Discontinuing operations, such as salad bars, buffets, and beverage service stations that require customers to use common utensils or dispensers.
· Finding ways to encourage spacing between customers while in line for service or check out in accordance with the applicable State or local requirements
· Amanda J. Deering, a clinical assistant professor with the Department of Food Science at Purdue University told TODAY that she would continue eating at buffets if they’re following guidelines and ensuring cleanliness by disinfecting frequently to help prevent the spread of the virus.
· Similarly, Dr. Shira Doron, an infectious disease physician and hospital epidemiologist at Tufts Medical Center, said she won’t discourage eating at buffets “provided cautionary measures are in place.”
· The new measures being adopted by restaurants include having waitstaff plate buffet meals rather than offering a self-serve option, markers placed in the guest line to promote proper social distancing, and the option of table side delivery. Additionally, Doron suggests the separation of tables, sneeze guards at the buffet, and limited groups allowed to approach the buffet at all times.
Food service and Cruising
• When the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued the recent ‘No Sail Order’ for cruise ships in US ports, the CDC didn’t elucidate what sort of social distancing they deem adequate on ships . Telegraph suggests the following when dealing with social distancing: the density of guests onboard a cruise ship is defined as the passenger space ratio – the higher the number, the greater the space per guest. This ratio can be calculated by dividing a ship’s gross tonnage by its total number of passengers occupying lower berths. This benchmark is a reliable guide to the amount of space for social distancing
• Self-service changes: buffets will no longer be self-service and the number of guests entering this area will also be strictly controlled. Ship’s crew in protective masks and gloves will be positioned behind each service station and will dispense each item directly onto guest’s plates, thus avoiding multiple people touching the same utensils with the potential risk of contagion. Subject to constant monitoring; these measures may have to be up scaled
• Crew will also be positioned at the entrances and exits of every dining outlet to ensure mandatory hand sanitization. Plus all touch-points will be disinfected by handheld electrostatic sprayers; these include ship’s handrails and lift call buttons. Other frequently used items such as salt and pepper shakers as well as butter portions and sachets of sugar will no longer be placed on dining tables. Bowls of peanuts and crisps will disappear from tables in every bar. It is also likely that traditional paper menus as well as those in cloth folders will be replaced by app-based menus. Modern technology has been successfully incorporated in Celebrity Cruises’ specialty restaurants where Qsine offers a roller coaster of palate pleasers selected from an iPad menu; these too will be sanitized after every use.
• Asian cruise group Genting – parent company of Crystal Cruises – is introducing enhanced measures including limiting quotas at buffets to half the venue capacity to provide ample space between guests
• Cruise Critic, Antonio Paradiso, managing director UK and Ireland, said: “There will be changes in terms of how we handle the serving of food and beverages on board or how our entertainment offering is run. It is also possible that we may sail with reduced capacity, but these are things that we are still working through to ensure we will be ready to commence operations again in the safest possible way.”
Cruising – Public Health
CLIA’s Members have adopted the following policy for all oceangoing vessels:
• All embarking persons are to receive pre-boarding health screening, to assist in preventing the spread of communicable diseases
• In light of recent developments related to COVID-19 the policy has been amended with preventative measures applicable to crew and others that board ships while passenger services are suspended
• Deny boarding to all persons with severe chronic medical conditions, including those specified by the U.S. CDC https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/specific-groups/high-risk-complications.html
• Conduct illness screening for all persons. Illness screening will include symptom history checks for fever, cough and difficulty breathing in the 14 days before embarkation and the taking of the person’s temperature. Any individual with a temperature reading at or above 100.4 degrees F / 38 degrees C is to be denied boarding.
• Deny boarding to all persons who, within 14 days prior to embarkation, have had contact with, or helped care for, anyone suspected or diagnosed as having COVID-19, or who are currently subject to health monitoring for possible exposure to COVID-19.