COVID-19 update: WHO and FAO release guidance on food safety for food businesses

On April 7, the World Health Organization (WHO) and Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) released interim guidance regarding food safety for food businesses in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The guidance provides recommended steps for protecting the health and safety of workers while maintaining the safety and availability of food, which are summarized in this memorandum. The WHO/FAO recommendations are largely consistent with those of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), though there are a few notable differences and issues on which the WHO/FAO provide more details than FDA and USDA, as well as areas where the WHO/FAO and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) differ in their recommendations.

Nonetheless, the WHO/FAO guidance may be of interest to the food industry, particularly those with operations outside the United States. Key topics from the guidance are highlighted in this alert.

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