COVID-19: Food Supply, Delivery and Recreational Facilities

​​​​​Food Safety Publications

March 31, 2021: ​Updated Guidelines for Farmers Market Managers, Vendors and Customers

September 1, 2020:DATCP Continuing Manufactured Food Facility, Warehouse Inspections

August 24, 2020:In-Person Drug Residue Industry Supervisor Workshops Canceled

July 9, 2020:Resuming Inspectio​ns at Grade A Dairy Plants

June 15, 2020:DATCP Resuming Manufactured Food Facility and Warehouse Inspections

June 10, 2020:Revised Certified Food Protection Manager Requirements during the COVID-19 Pandemic

June 2, 2020:COVID-19 Guidance for You-Pick and Farm Stands

May 27, 2020:Information on Resuming Dairy Operations

May 21, 2020:Updated Guidelines for Farmers Market Managers, Vendors and Customers

May 20, 2020:Recommendations for Opening Restaurants, Retail Businesses during COVID-19

May 12, 2020:Reopening Guides to Help Wisconsin Businesses

May 11, 2020:DATCP Cooperating with Business COVID-19 Prevention Steps

May 5, 2020:FAQ About Food Safety during COVID-19

April 20, 2020:Meat Safety Inspections during COVID-19

March 25, 2020:Guidelines for Food Delivery during the Emergency Order

March 25, 2020:Providing Meals to Wisconsin Students During School Closures

March 24, 2020:Guidance to Help Restaurants Donate Food to Pantries, Shelters

March 24, 2020:Interim Process for Issuing Temporary Milk Produce Licenses, Grade A Permits

March 24, 2020:Guidance for Serving Unpackaged Food at Grocery, Convenience Stores

March 24, 2020:Interim Process for Issuing BMWS Licenses

March 23, 2020:Guidance for Operating Food, Beer Plants

March 23, 2020:Dairy Services: Suspending Nonessential Activities, In-State Travel

March 22, 2020:Meat Plant Operations During the Emergency Order

March 20, 2020:Operating Restaurants During the Emergency Order

March 20, 2020:Guidance for Selling Unpackaged Produce 

Recreational Facility Publications​​

​March 19, 2021: ​Guidelines for Operation of Pools and Water Attractions

March 9, 2021: ​Wisconsin Rec-Ed Camps 2021 FAQs

May 20, 2020:Recommendations for Lodging Establishments during COVID-19

May 20, 2020:Guidelines for Operating Campgrounds during COVID-19

May 20, 2020:Guidance for Recreational and Educational Camps during COVID-19

May 11, 2020:Information Regarding Certification Courses for Pool Operators

April 10, 2020:Information for Pools Regarding First Aid, Lifeguard and CPR Certifications

April 9, 2020:FAQ About Recreational Operations and Pools

April 9, 2020:Tips to Prevent Legionella Growth in Water Systems

April 7, 2020:Information for Camps Regarding First Aid, Lifeguard and CPR Certifications

March 20, 2020:Closing, Maintaining Water Parks and Pools


FDA: Employee Health and Food Safety Checklist for Human and Animal Food Operations

Meat and Poultry Processing Facility Assessment Toolkit

What Grocery, Food Retail Workers Need to Know About COVID-19

FDA, USDA Recommendations for those in the Food and Agriculture Sector Experiencing Shortages of PPE, Sanitation Supplies

FDA: Voluntary Reporting of Temporary Closures or Requesting Assistance for FDA-Regulated Food Establishments

FDA: Temporary Policy Regarding the Qualified Exemption from the Standards from Growing, Harvesting, Packing, and Holding Produce for Human Consumption

Interim Guidance from CDC/U.S. Department of Labor on Agriculture Workers and Employers

Reopen Guidelines from the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation

CDC/OSHA Guidance for Meat and Poultry Processing Workers and Employers

CDC Safety Practices for Critical Workers Who May Have Had Exposure to a Person with COVID-19

University of Minnesota Extension: Basics of COVID-19 Transmission on Farms (video)

University of Minnesota Extension: Handwashing, Gloves, and Masks to Prevent COVID-19 on Farms (video)

University of Minnesota Extension: Cleaning and Sanitizing for COVID-19 on Farms (video)

University of Minnesota Extension: COVID-19 Safety at the Farmers Market (video)

University of Minnesota Extension: Maintaining 6 Feet of Distance on the Farm (video)

Frequently Asked Questions

Can you get COVID-19 from food?​

According to the CDC, there is currently no evidence that ​COVID-19 is transmitted through food.​​​ As usual, before preparing or handling food, you should always wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.​ See our FAQ about food safety to learn more.

Do I have to shut down my operation if one of my employees tests positive for COVID-19?

If an employee of a food business tests positive for COVID-19, it is up to the business owner to decide whether to shut down. The business may choose to thoroughly clean and sanitize to protect other workers, which could lead to a temporary halt in production, but DATCP will not order a mandatory shutdown solely because of an employee testing positive for COVID-19.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration provides specific guidance on workers testing positive on their website.

How do I compensate my employees if they're not working?

​For employment-related questions, please contact the Department of Workforce Development.

I own...

...a grocery store with a self-serve salad bar.

...a convenience store with a self-serve fountain drink or coffee station.

...a restaurant with a self-serve buffet.

What should I do?

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) offers best practices for safe food handling in retail food settings. If you are a food business owner with compliance questions, you can email

Can I display unpackaged produce for purchase?

Yes. Stores are permitted to keep open areas where customers self-dispense unpackaged food, like fresh produce. Self-dispensing that requires use of tongs or scoops (e.g., bulk bins, bakery displays) are encouraged to close, but closing is not required. Grocery stores are required to frequently sanitize tongs and scoops, and close off the area if they are unable to do so. 

This order remains in effect for the duration of the public health emergency declared in Order No. 72, or until a superseding order is issued.

Can I let customers order in-person?

Only if the number of customers inside your establishment at one time is limited to 10 or fewer, and social distancing of 6 feet is maintained between customers.

Emergency Order #5 instructs restaurants and bars to end dine-in service and only provide takeout or delivery. No seating may be provided, and food may not be consumed at the restaurant. This means:

  • Online and phone orders can be picked up and paid for in person, provided there is social distancing of 6 feet between customers.

  • Orders can be made onsite, limiting the total number of customers inside the establishment at one time to fewer than 10, if social distancing can be maintained during order, payment and pickup.

If you are a food business owner with compliance questions, you can email

I'm a farmer/agribusiness owner. What do I need to do to maintain food safety?

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has provided information and guidance on food safety on their website:

I run a food processing business. What do I need to do to maintain food safety?

The FDA has provided information and guidance on food products on their website: The FDA notes that there is no evidence of food or food packaging being associated with COVID-19 transmission, but like other viruses, there is the possibility of COVID-19 surviving on a surface. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends routine disinfection, as is standard operating procedure for food manufacturing facilities.

What kind of disinfectants can I use at my food business? Do I need to get a permit?

According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), products such as germicides, sanitizers, and disinfectants are registered pesticides and must be used according to label directions. Under Chapter ATCP 29.20 of DATCP's Administrative Code, businesses that only apply germicides, sanitizers, or disinfectants are exempt from needing a Commercial Pesticide Application Business License. Under Chapter ATCP 29.25, individuals who only apply germicides, sanitizers, or disinfectants are exempt from needing an Individual Commercial Pesticide Applicator License.

If you have questions on which antimicrobial products can be used against COVID-19, please see the recent list released by EPA here.