HARRISBURG, Pa. (WTAJ) — The Department of Agriculture released their new safety mandates for restaurants to follow during the COVID-19 pandemic.
All businesses in the restaurant and retail food service 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 food service 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.
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.
A county by county breakdown of COVID-19 restaurant enforcement actions can be found on the Department of Agriculture’s website. The data will be updated weekly, with data from the previous week.
Businesses unwilling to correct on-site will first receive a warning letter, followed by monetary citations ranging from $100 to $300 per offense. Following an initial warning, food safety inspectors will follow up with unannounced inspections to ensure compliance or issue citations as necessary.
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.