Effective August 9, 2021, the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) will expect all facilities with FSIS inspectors present to require employees or contractors to wear masks, regardless of vaccination status, if the establishment is located in a county with “substantial” or “high” community COVID-19 transmission, consistent with recent guidance from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC).1
FSIS made the announcement in a Notice2 and Constitutent Update3 issued Wednesday. Under the new policy, managers and employees are expected to utilize the CDC COVID Data Tracker website to determine whether they are located in a county with substantial or high rates of COVID-19 transmission.4 If an establishment does not meet these expectations, FSIS may take additional measures to reduce COVID-19 exposure to Inspection Program Personnel (IPP).
We will continue to monitor updates from FSIS and the agency’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Please contact us if you have any questions.
2 See FSIS Notice 30-21, Measures to Protect FSIS Inspection Program Personnel (IPP) from COVID-19 Infection, available at https://www.fsis.usda.gov/policy/fsis-notice/30-21.
Authored by Brian Eyink and Sam Dietle.