The COVID-19 pandemic has greatly impacted the U.S. food supply and consumer behavior. Food production and processing are being disrupted as illnesses, proactive quarantines, and government-mandated movement restrictions cause labor shortages. In this environment, the food industry has been required to adopt new, additional practices to minimize the risk of COVID-19 cases and outbreaks among its workforce. Successfully overcoming these challenges requires a comprehensive approach that addresses COVID-19 transmission both within and outside the facility. Possible interventions include strategies (i) to vaccinate employees, (ii) to assure that employees practice social distancing, (iii) to assure that employees wear face coverings, (iv) to screen employees for COVID-19, (v) to assure that employees practice frequent hand washing and avoid touching their faces, (vi) to clean frequently touched surfaces, and (vii) to assure proper ventilation. Compliance with these control strategies must be verified, and an overall COVID-19 control culture must be established to implement an effective program. Despite some public misperceptions about the health risk of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 on foods or food packaging, both the virus biology and epidemiological data clearly support a negligible risk of COVID-19 transmission through food and food packing. However, COVID-19 pandemic-related supply chain and workforce disruptions and the shift in resources to protect food industry employees from COVID-19 may increase the actual food safety risks. The goal of this review was to describe the COVID-19 mitigation practices adopted by the food industry and the potential impact of these practices and COVID-19-related disruptions on the industry's food safety mission. A review of these impacts is necessary to ensure that the food industry is prepared to maintain a safe and nutritious food supply in the face of future global disruptions.

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