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
June 2, 2020:COVID-19 Guidance for You-Pick and Farm Stands
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:Providing Meals to Wisconsin Students During School Closures
March 24, 2020:Guidance to Help Restaurants Donate Food to Pantries, Shelters
March 24, 2020:Guidance for Serving Unpackaged Food at Grocery, Convenience Stores
March 23, 2020:Guidance for Operating Food, Beer Plants
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
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
Reopen Guidelines from the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation
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.
...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 DATCPFoodComplaintsEmergencyResponse@wisconsin.gov.
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.
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: https://www.usda.gov/coronavirus.
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: https://www.fda.gov/emergency-preparedness-and-response/mcm-issues/coronavirus-disease-2019-covid-19-frequently-asked-questions. 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.