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What would be the role of everyone in the food safety chain to mimimize very serious issues of Coronavirus?

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kahina

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Posted 04 February 2020 - 08:12 AM

Hello All,

My question is what would be the role of everyone in the food safety chain to mimimize very serious issues as Coronavirus ?


Edited by kahina, 04 February 2020 - 08:16 AM.


jperri

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Posted 04 February 2020 - 02:28 PM

Hi Kahina,

 

I would think one area to focus on is the front line employees. Ensuring products are supplied/produced in a clean and hygienic environment could minimize the risk. Here are a couple things I would consider:

- Remind or conduct refresher training on GMP's and hygiene.

- Encourage employees to stay home if they are feeling sick.

- Encourage more hand washing, proper glove use.

- Depending on your product, facility location and overall risk, wearing a mask may be something to consider.

- Keep up with your sufficient daily cleaning and sanitation procedures in the production area as well as in common areas (lunchroom) or items that may get overlooked during cleaning (light switches) where cross contamination may occur.

 

 

Jenna



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Posted 04 February 2020 - 02:33 PM

ALL staff: follow government advice if symptoms are discovered/suspected on themselves or someone they have been in contact with such as family members

 

Technical staff and management: screen anyone (staff and visitors) with a recent history of travel from China- exclude them from the site automatically if they have been in the Hubei or Wuhan provinces in the last 14 days and if they are showing symptoms after travelling from other parts of China. If they have travelled to other parts but show no symptoms, deal with it as you see fit.

 

Suppliers: give assurance to you that they have acknowledged the virus and are taking steps with their own staff to prevent the spread into your site


On the Ball, City


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QAGB

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Posted 04 February 2020 - 03:56 PM

Hi Kahina,

 

I would think one area to focus on is the front line employees. Ensuring products are supplied/produced in a clean and hygienic environment could minimize the risk. Here are a couple things I would consider:

- Remind or conduct refresher training on GMP's and hygiene.

- Encourage employees to stay home if they are feeling sick.

- Encourage more hand washing, proper glove use.

- Depending on your product, facility location and overall risk, wearing a mask may be something to consider.

- Keep up with your sufficient daily cleaning and sanitation procedures in the production area as well as in common areas (lunchroom) or items that may get overlooked during cleaning (light switches) where cross contamination may occur.

 

 

Jenna

 

 

Encouraging employees to stay home if they are feeling sick is a HUGE one. Working in manufacturing, employees were always scared to call out sick because they were hourly and didn't want to accumulate attendance points if they didn't give enough notice to meet the company's attendance policies. With that being said, employees were more likely to come to work with contagious illnesses just so they didn't risk the consequences.

 

We all know that some employees like to game the system, and will take advantage of a situation. Thus, companies tighten policies, and all other employees suffer. However, in a time like this, with a virus as serious as this, companies should review their attendance policies.



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Posted 04 February 2020 - 04:02 PM

Given what I have seen of the numbers, this virus is less deadly than the current strain of the flu in North America. The MERS virus was quite a bit more deadly (fatalities vs those who became ill) and it did not receive this amount of attention.


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jperri

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Posted 04 February 2020 - 04:12 PM

For sure the media does embellish MANY things....I will leave it at that.... However; it does not hurt for food establishments to use this as an example or as practice if you will, to continue and fine tune their sanitation, hygiene and GMP requirements. No one thinks they will get sick until it happens, whether from a virus or even from food borne illness. Overall, I think it is good practice (like I mentioned in my previous post) if your product, location, demographic etc. puts you at more of a risk.



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Posted 04 February 2020 - 05:01 PM

Gojo Industries has been issued has been issued a notice on there claims for Purell by the FDA. See below. 

 

https://www.fda.gov/...599132-01172020



QAGB

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Posted 04 February 2020 - 05:13 PM

Given what I have seen of the numbers, this virus is less deadly than the current strain of the flu in North America. The MERS virus was quite a bit more deadly (fatalities vs those who became ill) and it did not receive this amount of attention.

 

From what I have read, I think the fear is that this presents a lot like the common cold until things start to get really serious. People don't know whether they have the sniffles or if they have the virus. Also, this is being transmitted to new hosts without the carrier exhibiting symptoms. The unknown always scares people.



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Posted 04 February 2020 - 07:07 PM

To Kahina's original query I'd echo post #3 and also QAGB's comments on employees potentially turning up anyway.

 

The Lancet has an interesting (albeit slightly wordy for us non-virologists/biologists) article on the current virus including suspected origin.

 

From genomic surveillance of clinical samples from patients with viral pneumonia in Wuhan, China, a novel coronavirus (termed 2019-nCoV) has been identified.
Our phylogenetic analysis of 2019-nCoV, sequenced from nine patients' samples, showed that the virus belongs to the subgenus Sarbecovirus. 2019-nCoV was more similar to two bat-derived coronavirus strains, bat-SL-CoVZC45 and bat-SL-CoVZXC21, than to known human-infecting coronaviruses, including the virus that caused the SARS outbreak of 2003.
Epidemiologically, eight of the nine patients in our study had a history of exposure to the Huanan seafood market in Wuhan, suggesting that they might have been in close contact with the infection source at the market. However, one patient had never visited the market, although he had stayed in a hotel near the market before the onset of their illness. This finding suggests either possible droplet transmission or that the patient was infected by a currently unknown source. Evidence of clusters of infected family members and medical workers has now confirmed the presence of human-to-human transmission.
 
 

Edited by zanorias, 04 February 2020 - 07:07 PM.


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Posted 14 February 2020 - 04:33 PM



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Posted 26 February 2020 - 09:37 AM

Is there any guidance for a 14-day period to keep your employees out of the workplace?  Will it be handled as administrative leave?  There are a lot of questions on how to handle this in the food environment when we consider WHO and CDC guidance.  I am happy that we can keep ourselves safe through proper hygiene programs all too often we find that people circumvent policy for ease in the environment that they work.  Has anyone had this pop up in their facilities yet?

 

Cheers!


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Posted 26 February 2020 - 03:25 PM

We're starting to get questions on country of origin of products and materials and some inquiries about Coronavirus itself.

 

We don't yet have a contingency plan for what would happen if we start to see widespread effects of the virus here. It's probably time we all started really thinking about this and try to be as proactive as we can.

 

I think setting a mandatory 14-day leave for anyone who tests positive would be a good start. I would request this 14-day leave stay separate from the employee's personal PTO and vacation, because we do need to ensure employees don't try to come to work sick.



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Posted 26 February 2020 - 04:53 PM

Just to follow up on QAGB's helpful comments, our company, which uses equipment produced in China, has been told this week that because of Coronavirus we can expect at least an 8 or 12 week delay on parts, many of which are crucial to production and which cannot be found elsewhere. I think we all need to think about how this will affect the supply chain. 

 

I agree completely about the mandatory 14 day leave. 



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Posted 26 February 2020 - 05:58 PM

Interesting point here.  I have had some customers asking us to test the air quality of the air inside of the packing filler surrounding their product.  I have not gotten any sense that this is an issue and it will obviously not be a concern since the filler is done through a machine and not filled by being manually blown up by a worker.  Still a funny point though.

 

Cheers!


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Posted 26 February 2020 - 06:25 PM

We're starting to get questions on country of origin of products and materials and some inquiries about Coronavirus itself.

Similar experience here. We've had a deluge of questions on Chinese origin for the past few weeks, and this week that's expanded to include Italy.

Interestingly the focus has very much been on continuity of supply rather than food safety - the WHO's guidance that there are no reported cases of transmission via food notwithstanding, I'd expected the local market here to become preoccupied by it "just in case".

We did have one supplier go out of their way to advise that their thermal process would kill it so there was no concern, which I though was a touch bold for a virus that is so poorly characterised. Obviously they're basing that on behaviour/susceptibility of better-documented viruses, but as the process isn't sterilisation I still found it somewhere between brave and naïve.

 

My concern about the 14-day isolation is that by the time it's identified it's probably too late and may have already affected other members of the workforce - speaking with contacts there have been issues with sourcing from China, caused in part by having enforced closure of businesses followed by having too few staff to actually operate anywhere near capacity once reopened, and this has been compounded by transport delays from the same root cause. I could see the quarantine approach currently being operated in Italy becoming more widespread, and they're warning of (hopefully) temporary potential shortages as a consequence.

At present it looks like the direct food safety implications will be mercifully negligible, but significant supply chain disruption could be very possible if the virus becomes established in more areas...



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Posted 26 February 2020 - 07:00 PM

We have been digging in a bit on vacations, asking if employees are going out of country and giving guidance on hygiene.  We obviously cant quarantine employees for going outside of the contiguous US but if they go into those areas that are seriously impacted then I am sure that we could have some testing and then put them on leave if they are positive until they are no longer testing positive.

 

Cheers.


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Posted 26 February 2020 - 08:12 PM

We have been digging in a bit on vacations, asking if employees are going out of country and giving guidance on hygiene.  We obviously cant quarantine employees for going outside of the contiguous US but if they go into those areas that are seriously impacted then I am sure that we could have some testing and then put them on leave if they are positive until they are no longer testing positive.

 

Cheers.

I confess that I haven't been following the response in the US - I take it from this post that there is no enforced quarantine currently in place for travellers from certain destinations?

Those on the repatriation flights into the UK for British citizens coming out of the Wuhan area were taken straight into quarantine centres and monitored by the National Health Service for two weeks, so I wouldn't be surprised to see that potentially expanded, at least for as long as it's feasible to do so - if the spread carries on then this will obviously cease to become practical short of closing all borders, and hopefully we won't get to that stage!

 

(I'd also like apologise for using 'there' instead of 'their' in my previous post - typing too quickly before having a cup of tea after work :oops2: )



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Posted 26 February 2020 - 08:28 PM

(I'd also like apologise for using 'there' instead of 'their' in my previous post - typing too quickly before having a cup of tea after work :oops2: )

 

:fixed:

 

I know I wouldn't be able to sleep. :smile:


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Posted 26 February 2020 - 09:01 PM

Simon is a kind benevolent god.  He won't ban you from the forums... this time  :roflmao:


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Posted 26 February 2020 - 09:19 PM

I confess that I haven't been following the response in the US - I take it from this post that there is no enforced quarantine currently in place for travellers from certain destinations?

Those on the repatriation flights into the UK for British citizens coming out of the Wuhan area were taken straight into quarantine centres and monitored by the National Health Service for two weeks, so I wouldn't be surprised to see that potentially expanded, at least for as long as it's feasible to do so - if the spread carries on then this will obviously cease to become practical short of closing all borders, and hopefully we won't get to that stage!

 

(I'd also like apologise for using 'there' instead of 'their' in my previous post - typing too quickly before having a cup of tea after work :oops2: )

 

There is an enforced travel quarantine in the U.S., but the situation is getting more complicated as new cases arise outside of Wuhan. In fact, Politico had an article not long ago addressing the complications of that:

 

https://www.politico...e-travel-110750

 

Full sympathies about the grammatical hiccup!



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Posted 26 February 2020 - 09:42 PM

There is an enforced travel quarantine in the U.S., but the situation is getting more complicated as new cases arise outside of Wuhan. In fact, Politico had an article not long ago addressing the complications of that:

 

https://www.politico...e-travel-110750

 

Full sympathies about the grammatical hiccup!

 

 

I live in one of the 3 locations/towns where they are quarantining people including those with it (they're in a hospital). People aren't worried about those individuals due to the media keeping everyone informed on the whole process. I saw one local forum asking if they could donate/help those individuals. Where I'm at the concern more is like what was said above and the economy.
 

I almost made the same they're, there, their mistake but caught it after it was mentioned :ejut:


Edited by kfromNE, 26 February 2020 - 09:44 PM.


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Posted 27 February 2020 - 04:55 PM

Speaking from animal food perspective: between both COVID-19 and ASFV, supply chain interruptions are my biggest initial concern. My second biggest concern is that ASFV may be off the radar now.

 

To answer OP's original question, it's hard to say what role the animal feed industry would play in a US outbreak of COVID-19 as I don't believe that they have established whether or not the virus is transmissible to other species than humans.  



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Posted 27 February 2020 - 11:31 PM

We spent some time getting feedback from several of our clients and developed a CV Defense Plan that was posting openly on our website last night and finished up early this morning.

 

Did not expect the amount of traffic the site would get - the site froze up today for a little while but should be back to normal soon.


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Posted 09 March 2020 - 04:03 AM

I remember late last year, I was determined to have my owner conduct similar mock scenario for our crisis management. The scenario was having a production employee diagnosed and positive for norovirus. We did a quick brief brain storming and later on, I was convinced it will be too much work for all of us... So i gave in and we did another mock scenario... What a coincidence! Moral of the story, trust your gut that something like this might happen and we have to be prepared.


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Posted 12 March 2020 - 12:15 PM

This is a health and safety issue not a food safety issue but one area we can help with is coaching and supporting good handwashing.



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