COVID-19 and protecting your manufacturing company!

A checklist for small food manufacturers.

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This is a general check-list for operating a food plant during the current COVID-19 restrictions. Your USDA inspector or local government may require you to keep logs and add further procedures in order to operate while COVID-19 restrictions on manufacturing environments are in place.


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  • Employees or visitors entering a plant must have their temperature checked. Ideally you can set-up an automatic procedure using thermal imaging that will also record employee/visitor name, time and temperature along with contact details. A recent government study is here:

But you should do your own research for the best system to fit your needs and can be supported by your IT system.

  • Deliveries – driver must contact office prior to arriving to arrange for a time at loading dock. Off-loading onto loading dock while keeping safe distance from the employee checking delivery. Both driver and employee must wear masks.
  • Exterior of all incoming product is to be sprayed with disinfectant prior to transport to storage area.
  • Service visits – all personnel must have a temperature check on arrival and wear masks.
  • Office visits by appointment only – everyone must wear masks.

Public areas/office

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  • Office areas are for office employees only
  • All staff to wear masks
  • All desks separated by 6 ft.
  • Public areas/office to be sanitized daily
  • Reception area separated from entrance way with plastic partition
  • Bathroom to be sanitized twice daily
  • Hand sanitizer station at entrance door and in office and to be clearly marked

Employee Locker Rooms and Employee Bathrooms


  • Bathrooms and Locker rooms sanitized during lunch period and again at end of day
  • Hand sanitizer dispensers in both bathrooms and locker rooms
  • Employees must wear masks

Employee Break Room

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  • Sanitized before lunch and at end of day
  • Stagger seating to allow for distancing
  • Stagger breaks to minimize crowding
  • Hand sanitizer station
  • Disposable dishes and utensils
  • Refrigerator must be emptied every night and sanitized


Production Area

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  • Sanitized twice daily (before production and after production).
  • Equipment and small wares sanitized before production, after product change and at end of production
  • If possible separate work areas by 6 ft.
  • If not, separate work areas with either plastic panels or shower curtains
  • All employees must wear masks
  • Hand sanitizer stations placed around production area


For Management:


  • Provide clean uniforms for daily change
  • Provide free masks and other PPE as needed
  • Log employee temperature records
  • Get employee input and suggestions
  • Have a policy for sending home anybody with symptoms or fever
  • Have a policy of handling staff that violates safety procedures or protocol
  • Document sanitizing by keeping a log.
  • Review with your USDA inspector, if not applicable your local Health Inspector
  • Do not tolerate exceptions.
  • Have employees sign-off that they have been trained on COVID-19 procedures and keep document in their personnel file.

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