Interim COVID-19 Recommendations for N.C. Food Processing Facilities

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April 20, 2020

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, North Carolina health and agricultural officials have developed interim guidelines in an effort to stop the spread of the novel coronavirus in the state’s 200 processing plants. The new guidelines are in addition to those already established by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

These interim recommendations were developed with input from the National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) and have been adapted for use in North Carolina by the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (NCDA&CS) and the Department of Health and Human Services (NCDHHS). They will be updated as new information becomes available.

The recommendations are intended to prevent exposure to COVID-19, when possible, and protect the health of North Carolina’s communities which includes this important work force. Food processing facilities are an essential business and play a critical role in ensuring a continuous supply of safe and healthy food.

These recommendations are intended to provide management options by which the safety of workers can be enhanced. They are not intended to replace any existing worker safety and health plans required by the N.C. Department of Labor (NCDOL), but should be viewed as an addition to those.

RELATED: Food Safety Guidance for Bulk Purchases of Frozen Poultry, Meats