The restaurant industry is home to more than 15 million trained and skilled employees in restaurants across the country serving the public every day. The restaurant industry is open and the tables at America’s 1+ million restaurant and foodservice locations are always a great place to gather with friends and family. To ensure that restaurants have the latest information about coronavirus, we 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.
On March 18, 2020, the Association sent a letter to the Administration and Congress defining the extreme impact the coronavirus outbreak is having on the food service industry, and outlining several actions Congress can take immediately to provide relief and aid recovery for the nation’s one million restaurants and their 15.6 million employees.
Our team launched a nationwide grassroots campaign urging Congress to take immediate action to support the restaurant industry. Make your voice heard.Take action at https://actnow.io/recovery or by text “Recovery” to 52886.
The Interational Black Restaurant & Hospitality Association continues to engage with local, state, and federal officials to help our employers and employees address this public health emergency.
Updated March 23, 2020
What is 2019-nCoV Coronavirus?
2019-nCoV (Coronavirus) is a virus that causes 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.
How can I find out what my state or city is requiring me to change at my restaurant? – added 3/19/20
The COVID-19 Resources by State document includes information on what is required in every state, city, or county as it relates to restaurants and coronavirus measures such as closing dining rooms, required posters, and additional information. This document has been compiled and vetted by ServSafe.
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 the transmission of COVID-19 associated with food.”
What food safety measures are restaurants taking?
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. Owners and operators should contact their state and local health departments for the latest advisories/information about coronavirus in their community. The Association also has a fact sheet in English and Spanish with information specific to the industry.
What can we all do?
The CDC suggests that people take the same steps they would 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 includes tips for preventing the spread of the virus and steps to reduce workers’ risk of exposure. And the CDC recently issued a strategy for implementing mitigation strategies for communities with local transmission.
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.
Where can we find resources?
To ensure that the foodservice industry can easily access the latest resources from the best sources, we will continue to update this page as new information develops.
COVID-19 Resources by State – includes requirements by state, city, or county as it relates to restaurants and coronavirus measures (Updated 3/20/20)
U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
Occupational Safety and Health Administration
Small Business Administration
World Health Organization
Johns Hopkins CSSE
Supply Chain Research and Resources
FDA – Coronavirus (COVID-19) Supply Chain Update (Feb. 27)
HBR – Prepare Your Supply Chain for Coronavirus (Feb. 27)