NORTH AMERICA UPDATE COVERING THE WEEK OF MARCH 23
Please find herewith an update on the impact of COVID19 in North American ports:
- The Port of Houston is fully operational again, after a day of closure due to an infected employee at one of the terminals.
- Various other Ports are facing delays in handling IN/OUT activities due to affected sailings and availability of labor force.
Latest Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announcements:
- Obligation to remove ill workers from areas where they could come into contact with food and food packaging.
- Implement social distancing in food facilities.
- Since Covid-19 is not a foodborne pathogen, FDA does not mandate any recalls or products to be placed on hold in case an employee at a food processing facility hast tested positive for the virus.
- FDA has temporarily suspended domestic routine surveillance inspections.
- FDA will continue to conduct ‘mission critical’ inspections, with prior notice.
- FDA has suspended standard foreign facility inspections till the end of April.
Exception to this rule could be a foodborne illness outbreak Class I, with prior notice.
- Food manufacturing, agricultural activities, grocery store operations are considered as ‘essential’.
- Food service operations are considered as ‘non-essential’.
Always at your disposal for further consultation where necessary.