Attachment: Guidelines for Safer Food Preparation and Service at Church During COVID
Until we have more specific guidelines, we recommend the following practices:
Due to the mainly respiratory nature of COVID transmission, gathering indoors is discouraged.
The safest practice is to have participants bring and eat only their own food.
At the end of the gathering, all food is removed from the premises by the participant who brought it.
As we often associate generosity with sharing, here are some ways to serve food that are safer during COVID.
- Safe Distancing: maintain safe distance, between all people at all times, be they preparers or guests.
- Outdoors: Eat outdoors until public health guidelines allow indoor eating.
Even then, outdoor eating is preferred (even if serving indoors).
- Once we are able to serve indoors, mark 6ft distances for guest waiting to be served.
- Establish traffic patterns that maintain a 6ft distance for food preparers, servers, and guests.
- Example: Everyone enters one doors and exits another.
- When possible, keep doors and windows open during the gathering.
- Ventilate the space before and after each event.
- Church plates and utensils can be washed and sterilized. Limit the number of people handling the dishes. Use grey wash bins for dropping off used dishes. Follow the posted washing process to disinfect.
- We’ve committed as a church to limit our use of disposable plastic but paper plates and bowls may be an option.
- Serving Food:
- Fewer preparers allows for distancing and limited sharing of utensils.
- Masked servers may use utensils to place food on plates held by guests.
Alternately, food can be plated and delivered to guests by masked servers.
- Hors d’oeuvres: Plate samplings on individual plates.
Alternatively: Place bagged samplings on trays. Guests choose bagged samplings from trays circulated by masked servers or placed on tables.
- Cold Drinks: limit the number of people handling glassware. Masked servers pour all drinks, rather than having multiple guests handle pitchers.
- Hot Drinks: Masked servers pour from insulated pitchers, push down spouts, and pour milk or creamer. Packets of sugar or powdered creamer may be provided.
- Cleaning: Continue to follow all posted reminders to wash hands and clean surfaces frequently. When done, please carefully disinfect handles and knobs. Do not sweep floors or otherwise disperse pathogens into the air. Instead, vacuum, mopping, and wipe surfaces with a damp cloth.
CDC guidelines link:
“Limit any sharing of food, tools, equipment, or supplies by staff members.
Ensure adequate supplies to minimize sharing of high-touch materials (e.g., serving spoons) to the extent possible; otherwise, limit use of supplies and equipment by one group of workers at a time and clean and disinfect between use.”