Frequently Asked Questions
Are restaurant workers considered essential employees that can be asked to come to work even when there are shelter-in-place Orders?
Yes. Still, more and more states and localities are restraining travel, particularly during certain hours of the day, while restaurant workers need to arrive earlier than the time restrictions to make bread, brew coffee, etc., and stay pass curfew to clean, disinfect, and close the premises. Meanwhile, some restaurant workers are running into issues with law enforcement restricting workers movement to and from work. Thus, the Restaurant Law Center drafted a letter specifically for restaurant brands that an employer can give to an essential employee stating that the holder is an “Essential Critical Infrastructure Worker” under the U.S. Department of Homeland Security guidelines. Thus, the worker should be allowed to continue to or from his place of employment. The letter can be found here.
How can I find out if the federal, state, and/or local governments have made changes to how restaurants can operate?
The National Resource Association maintains a list of guidelines for the safe operation of food establishments in each U.S. State. See here for the list (PDF).
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 transmission of COVID-19 associated with food.”
North Carolina State University has created an informational FAQ concerning off-premises foodservice during the coronavirus. At this time, there is no evidence that COVID-19 can be transmitted by food or food packaging. The FAQs are based on information from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Food & Drug Administration and the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
Where can I find the EPA list of antimicrobial products for use against the novel coronavirus SARS-CoV-2?
On March 3, the EPA released a list of registered disinfectant products that have qualified under its emerging viral pathogen program for use again SARS-CoV-2. You can find the list on the EPA website.
Please check back frequently to see new and updated resources.