COVID-19: Food Safety Operations Toolkit
In conjunction with SCRLA, DHEC developed a toolkit which includes signage, templates, a checklist, and educational materials to aid restaurants in response to challenges presented by COVID-19.
Do Your Part - Table Reserved
Ready to Dine
Guidance for Responding to Possible and Confirmed COVID-19 Ill Food Workers
Do Your Part - Employee Becomes Ill with Known or Suspected COVID-19
Do Your Part - Employee is Sick with or may have COVID-19
Virtual Preoperational Inspection
With COVID-19 impacting how we conduct normal operations, DHEC’s Food Team has been working to develop innovative ways to continue to serve our community, while still ensuring public health protection. DHEC's restaurant inspection team has developed and implemented a method for preoperational inspections to be conducted virtually for new restaurants looking to open. This compliance assistance tool is allowing new businesses to open while we practice proper social distancing.
Limited Scope Inspections
In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, DHEC developed a procedure for conducting virtual food safety checks. In July of 2020, these food safety checks transitioned into virtual “Limited Scope Inspections” and are conducted on a pass/fail basis and focus on the critical risk factors that are most likely to cause a foodborne illness. We have found these virtual inspections to be a highly effective method of validating food safety in permitted facilities.
Our virtual inspection process will continue to be our primary food safety validation while SC is considered to be at high risk for the spread of COVID-19. This is for the safety of the employees of the retail food establishment and our DHEC staff as social distancing is very difficult to obtain in most retail food establishment kitchens. We are, however, beginning to transition to in-person inspections which will start with those facilities where social distancing and other COVID-19 recommended safety precautions can be met. Facilities that do not have the capability to conduct virtual inspections will also be included in this phase. These “On-Site Limited Scope Inspections” are identical to our virtual “Limited Scope Inspections.”
Click here to view a blank Limited Scope Inspection Report.
Click here to watch an example virtual food safety check.
Video conferencing services including Microsoft Teams, Apple Facetime, Skype for Business, and Android Video Call are utilized during Limited Scope Inspections. This virtual visit will allow us to protect our team, your team, and the public by providing social distancing while we conduct these important food safety inspections. Please contact your local office to schedule your inspection.
Other steps you can take to help South Carolinians stay healthy include:
- Cover coughs and sneezes
- Appropriately dispose of tissues and other items you’ve coughed and sneezed into
- Ensure routine environmental cleaning and disinfection of frequently touched surfaces and objects, such as tabletops, countertops, doorknobs, etc.
- Be prepared and informed
As part of our ongoing communications efforts, you may find the following materials and information helpful.
Guidance Specific to South Carolina:
Guidance from the US Food & Drug Administration or Centers for Disease Control and Prevention:
Use of Cloth Face Coverings to Help Slow the Spread of COVID-19 - FDA
Best Practices for Re-Opening Retail Food Establishments During the COVID-19 Pandemic Checklist - FDA
Best Practices for Food Retailers During COVID-19 Pandemic - FDA
Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) Frequently Asked Questions - FDA
Food Safety and the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) - FDA
Nutrition Labeling of Certain Packaged Food During the COVID-19 Public Health Emergency - FDA
If you have questions about the restrictions on service, food sanitation or hygiene practices, please give us a call 803-896-0640 or email us.