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In light of Covid-19 is anyone making face masks mandatory in their facilities? Can this be optional?

Covid 19 Face Masks PPE SQF

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#1 Samlarios1

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Posted 08 April 2020 - 06:49 PM

In light of Covid-19 is anyone making face masks mandatory in their facilities? Can this be optional?



#2 SQFconsultant

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Posted 08 April 2020 - 07:33 PM

Not needed at all.


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#3 The Food Scientist

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Posted 08 April 2020 - 07:35 PM

We made it optional because we don't want to risk someone getting sick regardless of wearing a mask. They will come at us saying oh you made me wear a mask but I still got sick!

 

Although I am hearing that certain states have this mandatory. 

 

I passed this out to them (see attached). 

Attached Files


Edited by The Food Scientist, 08 April 2020 - 07:36 PM.

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#4 zanorias

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Posted 09 April 2020 - 05:25 AM

The wearing of masks in production areas where distancing is not possible will be mandatory in my place starting this week. Not something I support personally but hey ho :rolleyes:

 

This current thread on face masks may be of use if you are introducing masks:

https://www.ifsqn.co...ssing-facility/



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#5 Charles.C

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Posted 09 April 2020 - 07:21 AM

In light of Covid-19 is anyone making face masks mandatory in their facilities? Can this be optional?

 

Obviously not due COVID-19 but masks have been frequently mandatory in some Global areas for specific Food Product Categories/Functions for decades.


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#6 FSQA

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Posted 09 April 2020 - 06:41 PM

It also depends on the state regulation (it seems like you are US based).

 

Some of the east coast states (US) are making it mandatory to wear masks, which will apply to a food processing site too.

 

The guidance is more towards wearing cloth masks, however, employers are directed to supply masks for all employees, as social distancing is difficult to maintain.



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#7 Njaquino

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Posted 09 April 2020 - 10:14 PM

In California, as of tomorrow it will be mandatory. So we can't give options.

 

Regardless our employees always have an option to wear it or not before the virus. I work in the spice industry so there is particles that fly in the air.



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#8 George Adam N

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Posted 16 April 2020 - 01:27 PM

Thank you for sharing this... 

 

 

We made it optional because we don't want to risk someone getting sick regardless of wearing a mask. They will come at us saying oh you made me wear a mask but I still got sick!

 

Although I am hearing that certain states have this mandatory. 

 

I passed this out to them (see attached). 



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#9 Ryan M.

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Posted 17 April 2020 - 01:33 AM

In a couple days they will be mandatory in our facility.  I don't agree with it, but hey...it is what our CEO wants so we make it so.

 

It will be interesting to see how this plays out because we are in a warm, humid climate and many areas of our facility are not air conditioned.  It will be hot as heck and some breathing difficult with a mask on, especially as it gets warmer and warmer.



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#10 Food Police

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Posted 20 April 2020 - 03:51 PM

Our company (in California) made it mandatory in any situation where you are working in close proximity with someone else to wear a mask, although most of production stations are one-person areas, and they dont have to wear a mask unless leaving their area to go to break. 

 

We sourced washable masks through our uniform vendor and gave everyone 5, but we say you can also wear a beard-cover as a "mask" and this is acceptable if working in close proximity with someone else. This seems to be working for us.

 

-David



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#11 Food Police

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Posted 20 April 2020 - 04:01 PM

In a couple days they will be mandatory in our facility.  I don't agree with it, but hey...it is what our CEO wants so we make it so.

 

It will be interesting to see how this plays out because we are in a warm, humid climate and many areas of our facility are not air conditioned.  It will be hot as heck and some breathing difficult with a mask on, especially as it gets warmer and warmer.

 

It may not be possible, but we have one position like this (the cooker position) where the worker is constantly opening and closing steam cookers and filling them up/emptying them out of product, and it gets HOT and HUMID. The way we changed foot traffic and scheduling, we ended up eliminating this positions cross-contact with other bodies for the most part, so we can justify this worker not wearing a mask (THANKFULLY).

 

I hope you guys can end up doing the same in some way, because having worked those positions where the climate is not ideal but the work is essential to the process, I know those workers are often under appreciated.



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#12 AW99

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Posted 23 April 2020 - 06:28 PM

Our company (in California) made it mandatory in any situation where you are working in close proximity with someone else to wear a mask, although most of production stations are one-person areas, and they dont have to wear a mask unless leaving their area to go to break. 

 

We sourced washable masks through our uniform vendor and gave everyone 5, but we say you can also wear a beard-cover as a "mask" and this is acceptable if working in close proximity with someone else. This seems to be working for us.

 

-David

Your company might want to rethink that beard-cover as a "mask" idea. That's what Smithfield had their employees use in their South Dakota plant before it shut down.



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#13 QM-OS

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Posted 24 April 2020 - 06:26 AM

Food industry but masks aren't mandatory. We have put out extra hand sanitizing around the facility and all doors are locked (even offices) so outsiders access have become even more restricted than before.

Personnel with symptoms linked to this virus remain at home and aren't allowed to come back until several days after becoming symptom free. As of now, no personnel have been quarantined.

We don't allow visitors, all necessary meetings are done by video link or phone.

 

We are in a part of the country that don't have general spreading of the virus, yet, but we've been taking precausions for two months now.

It will come eventually, problem is the public is starting to get tired of the restrictions and there's fear of mass outbreak in the coming weeks.



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#14 chrcia

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Posted 24 April 2020 - 10:36 AM

We have made masks and or face covering mandatory for everyone working in the facility. We also require anyone who enters the facility to have a mask on and to where it all times.



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#15 mahantesh.micro

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Posted 24 April 2020 - 11:19 AM

we have made it mandatory in processing area and given training on Dos and Donts when using mask. other areas optional



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#16 Xoinks

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Posted 24 April 2020 - 12:58 PM

In light of Covid-19 is anyone making face masks mandatory in their facilities? Can this be optional?

We have a small facility and a lot of workers, so we opted to make it mandatory as we have limited options on social distancing.   We also allow home-made masks, provided they don't contribute to a food safety hazard. (No buttons, fraying, must be laundered every day, etc.).  I wrote up a risk assessment of the masks, and from that did the following:  Updated GMPs, added a line item to every pre-shift meeting (done weekly) to reminder workers to sanitize their hands if they touch or adjust their masks, and also have weekly reminders that if masks have frays they must be trimmed or replaced.  (Amongst other things.)  I've also stated the purpose of the masks over the course of several shift meetings - that the objective is to help reduce the spread if someone unknowingly has the virus, but the masks aren't intended to keep someone from getting sick.  Of course, also reinforced the fact of "If you are feeling sick at all, including gastro, stay home".  As it's not a risk to our food, our main concern really is using as many tools as we have to keep our workers from getting ill (and taking it home to their families).  

 

We are a bakery, however - and summer is around the corner, so how this translates into the heat is yet to be seen.  (We do have air conditioning, but it's fighting the ovens in the summer and still gets plenty hot).  We are keeping our crisis management plan open and updated and reevaluating about every week or two.  



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#17 jenky

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Posted 27 April 2020 - 01:25 PM

We are providing masks to employees, but wearing them is voluntary.  We have good social distancing  and employees do not work in close quarters for the most part.  We have implemented some engineering controls (e.g. lexan shields) where we have a few locations where people were close.   

 

Question about cloth masks - employees that wear them are required to launder them daily.  We are considering installing a washer / dryer to wash masks on site to ensure laundering is taking place.  How are others dealing with keeping masks clean per CDC guidelines?



#18 olenazh

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Posted 27 April 2020 - 02:06 PM

We're food industry in Toronto, Canada. Here, it's up to you, not mandatory. However, as per Health Canada, Ministry of Labour and other advisories, if workers are worried, stressed or scared, they may be experiencing some strong emotional feelings.  These may cause workers to become distracted by the job at hand. Distracted workers are at a higher risk of accidents & incidents. So, we've thought - why not? If wearing masks is making workers more confident and feel safe, let them.  



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#19 ffkmm

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Posted 11 May 2020 - 08:04 PM

They are making it mandatory at our facility soon.

I personally don't like the idea because it is a sense of false protection. We are a hot and cold facility so it worries me because we currently have issue with having employees wear safe glasses because they are always getting fogged up due to the temp. So I am sure this is going to cause more of an issue later down the road.



#20 Tresa

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Posted 12 May 2020 - 03:28 PM

Does anyone know how many percentage using the face mask reduces the transmission of corona virus vs. not wearing face mask?



#21 Xoinks

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Posted 12 May 2020 - 03:39 PM

Does anyone know how many percentage using the face mask reduces the transmission of corona virus vs. not wearing face mask?

 

As far as I have been aware, there hasn't been a published study that has definitively covered this.   There is some general consensus though that it will help, especially as there is evidence that the virus tends to travel on droplets versus being completely airborne.  Airborne droplets are known to get hung up in cloth, so the rationale makes sense.

 

https://www.ncbi.nlm...pubmed/32303016

 

It would be nice if there were some firm numbers, though - and maybe I'll stand corrected.  



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#22 kfromNE

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Posted 12 May 2020 - 06:20 PM

As far as I have been aware, there hasn't been a published study that has definitively covered this.   There is some general consensus though that it will help, especially as there is evidence that the virus tends to travel on droplets versus being completely airborne.  Airborne droplets are known to get hung up in cloth, so the rationale makes sense.

 

https://www.ncbi.nlm...pubmed/32303016

 

It would be nice if there were some firm numbers, though - and maybe I'll stand corrected.  

I couldn't find much either. The reason it's hard to get firm numbers - too many variables. Masks differ on their effectiveness. Another variable - how well the mask fits around someone's face.



#23 Timwoodbag

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Posted 12 May 2020 - 08:24 PM

Does anyone know how many percentage using the face mask reduces the transmission of corona virus vs. not wearing face mask?

 

Unfortunately literally nobody can answer that at this time, we have limited information on the effectiveness of N95's vs diseases that have been around for MUCH longer than COVID-19.  

 

We made masks mandatory about 2 weeks before our local town government put in mandatory mask orders, which was done a week before state government said it is now mandatory.  We figured that wearing proper masks would help convince any inspectors or board of health agents that walked in that we are doing all we can to keep employees safe.  Better to be ahead than to be told to do it.  



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#24 Cheza0021

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Posted 12 May 2020 - 08:32 PM

Recently became mandatory at our facility.....a bit late but it's there. Additionally, suspension of all outside or 3rd Party visitor into the facility.



#25 Timwoodbag

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Posted 12 May 2020 - 08:35 PM

Recently became mandatory at our facility.....a bit late but it's there. Additionally, suspension of all outside or 3rd Party visitor into the facility.

 

Knowing my auditor, I had to specify that we will allow essential visitors, or else he would say I banned the pest control guy and then let him in and would possibly take a point for it come audit time.  







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