The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) recently released several guidelines for various segments of the food industry to address the COVID-19 pandemic. First, CDC issued Interim Guidance from CDC and the U.S. Department of Labor, Agriculture Workers and Employers (“the Interim Guidance”), which provides recommendations related to COVID-19 transmission considerations for agriculture workers and employers. The Interim Guidance addresses the unique challenges of controlling the spread of COVID-19 given factors such as agriculture work sites, shared worker housing, and shared worker transportation vehicles, which are prevalent in the agriculture sector.

Second, the CDC issued Meat and Poultry Processing Facility Assessment Toolkit (“the CDC Toolkit”) for occupational safety and health professionals and government officials to use in assessing COVID-19 infection prevention and control measures at meat and poultry processing facilities.

Third, FDA released a food safety re-opening checklist, Best Practices for Re-Opening Retail Food Establishments During the COVID-19 Pandemic (“the Checklist”), for previously closed retail food establishments or those that have been open with limited service related to the COVID-19 pandemic.

We summarize these resources here.

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Photo of Elizabeth Fawell Elizabeth Fawell

Partner, Washington, D.C.

Elizabeth Fawell navigates the detailed, and often complex, regulatory issues confronting food companies and helps them understand both the rules and various risks involved so that they can make informed business decisions. Elizabeth works with every segment of the food…

Partner, Washington, D.C.

Elizabeth Fawell navigates the detailed, and often complex, regulatory issues confronting food companies and helps them understand both the rules and various risks involved so that they can make informed business decisions. Elizabeth works with every segment of the food industry, including manufacturers, distributors, retailers, restaurants, and food service operators; and their trade associations.  Elizabeth’s work on behalf of food industry clients with the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) since its inception and her understanding of Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point (HACCP) systems provides her with the experience and perspective needed as she counsels clients on how to comply with new requirements under the law. Elizabeth is a Preventive Controls Qualified Individual (PCQI) and has completed the FSPCA PCQI training.

Elizabeth knows how laws, regulations, and guidance documents are developed, interpreted, and enforced. Her extensive knowledge enables clients to prevent and respond to enforcement actions such as Warning Letters, Import Alerts, and agency investigations. She helps clients in determining whether an RFR is necessary and whether a recall is warranted. If so, she helps manage the recall to minimize business impacts. Elizabeth provides real-time advice during factory inspections, helps clients prepare 483 responses, and drafts inspection manuals. She also assists clients in lawfully and creatively promoting their products; such as the development of labels, claims, and website and promotional campaigns. Elizabeth also supports clients in advertising disputes and with responses to FTC and Attorney General investigations.

Elizabeth helps clients stay informed of and ahead of public policy issues and develops strategies for effective advocacy before regulators. She also counsels clients on compliance with Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) safety standards, testing and certification requirements, and reporting obligations.

Elizabeth is a member of the Food and Dietary Supplements Committee of the Food and Drug Law Institute.

Photo of Brian Eyink Brian Eyink

Counsel, Washington, D.C.

Drawing on experience throughout the supply chain — from animal production to food processing to distribution and retail sale — Brian Eyink brings vast and cross-cutting industry knowledge to help clients find practical solutions to regulatory problems. Brian is particularly…

Counsel, Washington, D.C.

Drawing on experience throughout the supply chain — from animal production to food processing to distribution and retail sale — Brian Eyink brings vast and cross-cutting industry knowledge to help clients find practical solutions to regulatory problems. Brian is particularly sensitive to risk management issues as companies adapt to a regulatory and political environment increasingly focused on inspections, enforcement, and investigations.

Brian helps food and agriculture companies navigate increasingly complex and high-stakes federal and state regulatory issues. He draws on deep experience with the USDA, FDA, and FTC, as well as state, local, and self-regulatory bodies, litigation, and acquisitions to solve clients’ regulatory and business problems. Brian advises clients on the full scope of regulatory issues facing the food and agriculture sectors, ranging from USDA and FDA enforcement actions and federal investigations to regulatory compliance, import and export issues, litigation support, comment preparation, legislative drafting, policy development, trade association governance, advertising disputes, and labeling issues.

Brian also represents food and agriculture trade associations, advising on issues including general counseling and governance, influencing policy and public perspective, and implementation of industry initiatives.

Before joining Hogan Lovells, Brian served as a judicial law clerk to the Honorable Gerald Bard Tjoflat of the United States Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit. While in law school, he served as an executive editor of the Duke Law Journal.

Photo of Mary Lancaster Mary Lancaster

Associate, Washington, D.C.

Mary Lancaster provides practical guidance on complex regulatory issues to help food and beverage companies in all segments of the industry achieve their business goals.

Mary advises clients on Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and United States Department of Agriculture…

Associate, Washington, D.C.

Mary Lancaster provides practical guidance on complex regulatory issues to help food and beverage companies in all segments of the industry achieve their business goals.

Mary advises clients on Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) compliance with current good manufacturing practice (cGMP), advertising and labeling compliance, and food safety issues that arise throughout the entire food supply chain. She also advises on enforcement actions and drafts comments on proposed regulations and agency guidance. Mary also has experience with matters in front of the Federal Trade Commission’s Bureau of Consumer Protection.

Prior to law school, Mary was a legal assistant at a Washington, D.C. law firm, where she assisted lawyers in white-collar investigations, pharmaceutical class action litigations, and federal habeas petitions for death row inmates.