Summary of global guidance, guidelines or recommendations to prevent food workers from acquiring COVID-19 Open Access

Kawamoto, Kyoko (Summer 2021)

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In the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic, many countries and regions have provided the public with guidelines or guidance to protect people from this disease. In the pandemic, food workers are essential workers undertaking risks for society; however, food workers did not receive the same level of support as workers from other industries such as healthcare workers. Therefore, it would be helpful for employers or management to comprehend guidelines or guidance on the pandemic to understand potential risks at workplaces and protect food workers from COVID-19. The study aims to summarize guidance, guidelines, or recommendations globally to prevent food workers from acquiring COVID-19 in English or Japanese-speaking regions/countries. The identification and selection of documents followed the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analysis (PRISMA) guidelines with modifications. Initially, 1847 documents were identified. After the screenings, thirty-five documents were selected for review from the World Health Organization (WHO), the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), Europe, the UK, the U.S., Canada, Australia, New Zealand, and Japan. Most documents from the regions and countries described a certain distancing that people maintain, controls that employers plan, and briefly described ventilation in workplaces such as good airflow. Some, but not all regions and countries, had guidance to address the risks regarding shared accommodation and transportation, such as close and prolonged contact among people. Next, most of the documents described hand hygiene including hand-washing, cleaning and sanitation, such as disinfection of high-touch surfaces, and face coverings. Furthermore, most of the documents contained practices regarding screening of workers’ conditions, management of symptomatic workers, and training of workers. In conclusion, this review has summarized the guidance of selected regions and countries to protect food workers from acquiring COVID-19. The results showed similarities in main components and the differences in the details of practices, such as how to address when a defined distancing is not achievable, among the countries. The results would be helpful for public health experts and researchers who intend to conduct interventions or research of the food industry during the pandemic.

Table of Contents

Chapter 1.          Literature Review            1

1.1.       Importance of Guidance and Guidelines under the COVID-19 pandemic           1

1.2.       Essential Workers under the COVID-19 pandemic  3

1.3.       Food Workers under the COVID-19 pandemic        5

1.4.       Need Statement 8

1.5.       Goal Statement and Significance  8

Chapter 2.          Methods             10

2.1.       Identification     10

2.2.       Screening          13

2.3.       Data Extraction 16

2.4.       Data Analysis    16

Chapter 3.          Results 18

3.1.       Characteristics of the Selected Documents 21

3.2.       Control at the Workplace, including at Shared Housing and Transportation   23

3.3.       Hygiene Control, Face Coverings and PPE 27

3.4.       Screening, Managing and Education of Workers     31

Chapter 4.          Discussion and Public Health Implication  34

4.1.       Main Findings    34

4.2.       Strength and Limitation  37

4.3.       Implication        38

4.4.       Conclusion         39

Appendix A.      Names and Abbreviations of Organizations 40

Appendix B.       Protocol 42

Appendix C.       Characteristics of the selected documents  50

Reference                         53

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