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The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) have announced a memorandum of understanding (MOU) to help prevent potential disruptions to the food supply chain, particularly fruit and vegetable processing plants, resulting from the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

In a joint statement, USDA Under Secretary for Food Safety Mindy Brashears, Ph.D., and FDA Deputy Commissioner for Food Policy and Response Frank Yiannas noted that the MOU is “an important preparedness effort” due to the upcoming peak harvesting seasons, when many fruits and vegetables grown across the United States are sent to FDA-regulated facilities to be frozen or canned.

Law clerk Angela Silva contributed to this post.

As restaurants and other retail food establishments begin to reopen around the country, trade associations and the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) have both issued guidance for retail food establishments that provide direction, checklists, and best practices for reopening while the country emerges from the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

On April 22, the National Restaurant Association issued Reopening Guidance: A Guide for the Restaurant Industry and on May 8, FDA followed suit by issuing a detailed food safety checklist, Best Practices for Re-Opening Retail Food Establishments During the COVID-19 Pandemic.