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ENVIRONMENTAL CONTROL OF SARS-COV-2 WITHIN FOOD SERVICE ESTABLISHMENTS

Investigators
Gibson, Kristen E; Fraser, An, .; Jiang, Xi, .; Lee, Ju, .; Vinje, Ja, .
Institutions
University of Arkansas
Start date
2020
End date
2022
Objective
Our goal is to inform a national action plan to help the foodservice industry skillfully navigate the COVID-19 pandemic with increased confidence. Our research will focus on the 'front-of-the-house', defined as any location within a food service establishments (FSEs) where customers are allowed. Arguably, the foodservice industry has been the hardest hit by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Since March 2020, 60% of the U.S. job loss has been attributed to the foodservice industry, partially due to lack of in-house dining. As part of reopening efforts, some states are allowing in-house dining at a reduced capacity, though some consumers do not feel safe eating in these FSEs. The FDA Food Code, food safety standards for U.S. FSEs, mainly focuses on the 'back-of-the-house' (e.g., kitchen, storerooms, and dishwashing areas) only broadly mentioning front-of-the-house areas (e.g., dining rooms and bathrooms). To restore consumer confidence, we assert that customers need to know they will not be exposed to the severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) coronavirus (CoV) type 2 (SARS-CoV-2), the pathogen causing COVID-19. Our proposed work will build the evidence base to inform FSE environmental cleaning procedures with a specific focus on the front-of-the-house. Implementation of effective environmental cleaning procedures is instrumental in the ability of FSEs providing a safe dining experience. The 4 objectives to achieve our goal of informing a national action plan are:Determine persistence of SARS-CoV-2 and its surrogates on environmental surfaces.Define the transfer rate of SARS-CoV-2 surrogates between surfaces and hands.Establish the efficacy of disinfectant strategies against SARS-CoV-2 and its surrogates.Determine the validity of ATP detection tools to monitor environmental cleaning.
Funding Source
Nat'l. Inst. of Food and Agriculture
Project source
View this project
Project number
ARK0GIBSON
Accession number
1023801
Categories
Legislation and Regulations
Parasites
Natural Toxins
Viruses and Prions
Bacterial Pathogens
Chemical Contaminants