Department of Agriculture releases COVID-19 restaurant enforcement actions

Regional News

HARRISBURG, Pa. (WTAJ) — The Department of Agriculture on Wednesday released data related to COVID-19 restaurant enforcement actions from August 3 through August 9, 2020.

The information is specific to COVID-19 mitigation requirements for restaurants including social distancing, masking, and occupancy limits. The numbers include actions taken during routine food safety inspections and inspections prompted by consumer complaints.

From August 3 through August 9, the Bureau of Food Safety performed 624 total routine inspections, 22 of which were complaint-driven, four were COVID-19 specific complaints. The bureau distributed 77 COVID-19 complaint-driven educational letters. Ten COVID-19 related complaints were referred to local and county health jurisdictions.

Among other requirements, all businesses in the restaurant and retail foodservice industry authorized to conduct in-person activities are mandated to:

  • Require all customers to wear a mask while entering, exiting, or otherwise traveling through the restaurant or retail foodservice business (mask may be removed while seated).
  • Employees are required to wear masks at all times.
  • Provide at least six feet between parties at tables or physical barriers between customers where booths are arranged back to back.
  • Ensure maximum occupancy limits for indoor and outdoor areas are posted and enforced.

Consumers with general food safety complaints or concerns about non-compliance for COVID-19 mitigation can file a report online. COVID-19 mitigation restaurant enforcement actions will be released on a weekly basis.

For more information about the Department of Agriculture’s COVID-19 response, visit

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