USDA ensures food safety during COVID-19 outbreak
On March 16, the USDA sent a letter to stakeholders reassuring them that its multiple agencies that oversee food inspections and food grading services are rising to meet the challenges associated with COVID-19 and outlined USDA agency operations to ensure food safety.
The USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) will continue meat, poultry, and processed egg inspection services as normal.
Planning for absenteeism is a part of normal FSIS operations and as such, FSIS is closely monitoring and tracking employee absenteeism to plan for and minimize impacts to operations.
FSIS is also working to prioritize inspection at establishments based on local conditions and resources available.
The USDA’s Animal Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) and Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) continue to provide critical inspections and grading services.
APHIS and AMS are ensuring the health and safety of USDA employees while still providing the timely delivery of the services to maintain the movement of America’s food supply. The two agencies indicated they are prepared to remedy any possible disruptions in their services.
AMS will continue to report commodity prices through its market news service.
For more information from the USDA, visit www.usda.gov/coronavirus.
The latest information directly from the CDC can be found at www.coronavirus.gov.