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No evidence that food and food packaging spread COVID, U.S. health officials say plus four other things you may have missed.

5 coronavirus things: No evidence food and food packaging spread COVID, U.S. health officials say

This and Chartwells at New York University partnering with GrubHub to get subsidized meals to quarantined students are some of the stories you may have missed recently regarding the COVID-19 crisis.

In this special edition of 5 Things, Food Management highlights five things you may have missed recently about developments regarding coronavirus and its impact on onsite dining.

Here’s your list for today:

  1. No evidence that food and food packaging spread COVID, U.S. health officials say

"After more than a year since the coronavirus disease 2019 [COVID-19] outbreak was declared a global health emergency, the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention continue to underscore that there is no credible evidence of food or food packaging associated with or as a likely source of viral transmission of ... the virus causing COVID-19," Acting USDA Secretary Kevin Shea and Acting FDA Commissioner Dr. Janet Woodcock said in a statement. They added that it is "particularly important to note that COVID-19 is a respiratory illness that is spread from person to person, unlike foodborne or gastrointestinal viruses, such as norovirus and hepatitis A, that often make people ill through contaminated food."

Read more: FDA: No evidence COVID-19 spreads through food, food packaging

  1. Chartwells and GrubHub partner on free meals to quarantined students at NYU

New York University (NYU) dining services provider Chartwells and mobile order platform GrubHub have partnered on an initiative that gives quarantined NYU students a daily stipend of at least $30 in GrubHub gift cards and free GrubHub+ memberships that entitle them to no delivery charges. “This program not only provided quarantined students with a trusted way to get food safely but allowed students to support nearby restaurants and benefit the local economy with their orders,” says Sean Ir, GrubHub’s director of strategic partnerships.

Read more: Grubhub Teams With NYU To Find Creative Dining Solution For Students

  1. Texas Restaurant Association partners with hospitals needing extra meals

The Texas Restaurant Association is working with hospitals that need extra onsite foodservice by connected them with local eateries because many healthcare workers are staying on the premises to avoid the hazards of travel with severe weather and dangerous road conditions hampering getting to work. The restaurants have extra food because the weather has curtailed their business.

Read more: Texas Restaurant Association connecting with hospitals to provide food for healthcare workers

  1. Maine schools saw 30% lunch count drop-off last November and December

Schools in Maine served 30% fewer lunches and 10% fewer breakfasts in November and December of 2020 than they did a year before despite free meals being available to all students, says Walter Beesley, director of child nutrition for the Maine Department of Education. At the Lewiston Schools, lunch participation has dropped 60% as half the student population is remote learning.

Read more: Free Meals Were Expanded To All Maine Students During The Pandemic. So Why Has Participation Fallen?

  1. Manhattan College reopens dining venue to indoor seating

One sign of the loosening of dining restrictions in New York is the planned reopening on Feb. 22 of indoor dining at the Locke’s Loft campus dining venue at Manhattan College. The venue will operate at 25% seating capacity, observe all of the COVID-19 guidelines directed by the state and “implement the seating capacity by assigning designated seating areas that adhere to social distancing guidelines implemented by state and local governments,” the school’s dining services stated.

Read more: Locke’s Unlocks Indoor Dining Option for Students

Bonus: Tips for rightsizing your foodservice facility

Contact Mike Buzalka at [email protected]

TAGS: Coronavirus
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