October 21, 2020

The National Restaurant Association and ServSafe Release Updated Operating Guidance

Chicago – Today the National Restaurant Association and ServSafe released an updated version of its guidelines for safe operation during the pandemic. Renamed “COVID-19 Operating Guidance,” the document continues to offer direction and provide a framework of best practices for restaurants operating under new COVID-19 rules and regulations. 

It is meant to be used in conjunction with Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Food Code requirements, and all guidance required by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), FDA, and state and local health officials for operations during the pandemic.

“This update reflects the latest proven science and best practices available for restaurants operating during this public health crisis,” said Larry Lynch, senior vice president for Science and Industry for the Association. “Restaurant operators are focused on creating safe and welcoming environments for their employees and patrons. We continue to work with our partners at the FDA and CDC as well as public health and industry to ensure that restaurants have the best information available to operate safely. These guidelines provide straight-forward practices — like wearing masks when not eating or drinking, keeping social distances, and staying home when sick — that help keep risk low for diners and employees.”

The Guidance continues to focus on food safety, cleaning and sanitizing, employee health monitoring and personal hygiene, and social distancing. Each section includes a list of actionable items an operation should consider as it evaluates its safety procedures. 

The updates include:

  • A new section on preparing workplaces for COVID-19 which addresses layouts and ventilation.
  • Additional guidance on when and where face coverings should be worn in the restaurant.
  • Additional information on addressing employee personal hygiene and health including updates on front-of-house glove use and considerations when an employee is exposed to COVID-19.
  • Updated guidance on providing ServSafe Food Handler and ServSafe COVID-19 training for all employees.

The original National Restaurant Association COVID-19 Restaurant Reopening Guidance was released in April and updated in May.

The updated COVID-19 Operating Guidance can be downloaded here. Get the latest information about free ServSafe COVID-19 training here.

About the National Restaurant Association

Founded in 1919, the National Restaurant Association is the leading business association for the restaurant industry, which comprises nearly 1 million restaurant and foodservice outlets and a workforce of 15 million employees. Together with 52 State Associations, we are a network of professional organizations dedicated to serving every restaurant through advocacy, education, and food safety. We sponsor the industry's largest trade show (National Restaurant Association Show); leading food safety training and certification program (ServSafe); unique career-building high school program (the NRAEF's ProStart). For more information, visit Restaurant.org and find @WeRRestaurants on Twitter, Facebook and YouTube.