Food Safety During COVID-19

Perennia’s Quality and Food Safety team have received inquiries from local food production operations looking for reassurance that they are doing everything they can to protect their employees and customers. If you are following the provincial and federal guidelines but want to do more here are a few additional best practices you can implement over the coming weeks:

  • Train your team – Make sure they can demonstrate how to wash their hands properly and can follow through on the newly implemented practices you have in place;
  • Gloves are fine but not a substitute for dirty hands – Wash and/or sanitize gloves as per hygiene policy;
  • Contact your chemical provider to ensure you are using sanitation chemicals properly and allowing for the proper contact time to disinfect surfaces that may be contaminated with COVID-19;
  • If you are working from home, update your Crisis Management Plan with the steps you are taking for this pandemic so you are prepared for the next one.

To date, there have been no reports of COVID-19 transmission through food. However, please remember to do everything that you can and follow the practices and guidelines that the province has outlined:

Contact Public Health or CFIA if you have food safety concerns related to an outbreak at your facility or in the community. In response to COVID-19, the CFIA have announced that they are temporarily suspending low-risk activities that do not immediately impact the production of safe food for Canadians such as food inspections and investigations not related to food safety; low risk surveillance or sampling activities; inspections of preventive control plans and plant and animal inspections in areas of low risk; low risk labelling and domestic facility inspections; and low risk feed, seed and fertilizer permissions. The CFIA is prioritizing activities that are critical to the safety of food, and animal and plant health during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. These activities include food safety investigations and recalls; animal disease investigations; inspection services; export certification; import inspection services; emergency management; and laboratory diagnostics in support of the above. For more information, visit CFIA’s website.