COVID-19: Food Industry

This site was active from 2020-2022. The information published below has not been modified or updated to reflect post-pandemic guidance. For more information on your business needs, please contact us. You may also consider viewing the CDC webpage.

The Center for Industrial Research and Service (CIRAS) at Iowa State University is providing educational guides and support to help you plan, prepare, protect, and recover your operations from impacts of the COVID-19 (the coronavirus disease).

This particular page is designed specifically for companies in the Iowa food industry, which may have specific concerns about food safety, food production, and public health.

The resources below include a variety of links and checklists to help food manufacturers protect their businesses and employees from the COVID-19 pandemic. The list includes tips such as how to properly screen employees and the best cleaning and sanitizing practices. You’ll find operational steps you can take to slow the spread, as well as what to do if you find that a COVID-19 outbreak already has happened at your plant.

Be sure to revisit this page regularly for the latest COVID-19 Food Industry guidance:

Weekly COVID-19 Food Industry Roundtables

CIRAS Checklists & Guides

Protecting Your Business from COVID-19
What is an Essential Business
Responding to a COVID-19 Exposure
Screening Employees
Thermal Screening Best Practices
Operations Management Best Practices
COVID-19 Hierarchy of Controls

Return to Work

CIRAS Preparedness & Return to Work Checklist
CIRAS Return to Office Plan
CDC Reopening Guidance for Cleaning and Disinfecting Businesses
IDPH Reopening Guidance
White House/CDC Opening America Criteria

FDA Guidance for the Food Industry

Other Food Industry Information & Resources

Reference & Information Sources

Centers for Disease Control (CDC) COVID-19 Home Page

Iowa Department of Public Health updates

OSHA COVID-19 Webpage
OSHA Guidance on Preparing Workplaces for COVID-19
National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences Training Information
Tips for Manufacturers on Continuing Production During the Coronavirus Pandemic
Coronavirus Surface Testing – Eurofins Example


If your business is impacted by COVID-19, CIRAS can provide no-cost assistance to help you understand your next steps. CIRAS has an emergency response team in place to help guide you through the recovery process. Fill out our Contact Us form and we’ll be in touch with you.