Information for food and restaurant workers

Food service and delivery are essential during the coronavirus outbreak.

Food service workers

If you are a food service worker:

  • Employees may travel as needed, including on public transit, to perform food service work
  • Both food service workers and customers must use social distancing, including while in line
  • Minimize contact with others, including not shaking hands with customers or being in close contact when greeting them
  • Minimize touching ready-to-eat food with your bare hands
  • Avoid touching you eyes, nose and mouth and minimize touching phones or other personal items

Food delivery workers

Food that is being delivered has special requirements:

  • The container for the food being delivered must be durable, washable, and tamper-proof

  • The container and area where food is contained must be thoroughly cleaned and sanitized frequently

  • The temperature of food being delivered must be:

    • 135 degrees Fahrenheit or higher if being kept hot

    • 41 degrees Fahrenheit or lower if being kept cold

    • Left at room temperature for no more than 30 minutes

Employers in food businesses

The Department of Public Health has recommendations for food facilities. These include:

  • Maintain 6-foot social distancing for both employees and members of the public, including, but not limited to, when any customers are standing in line

    • Consider rearranging your shop layout to facilitate social distancing

  • Require employees to wash their hands frequently with soap and water for at least 20 seconds each time

  • Require employees to cover coughs and sneezes (into the sleeve or elbow, not hands)

  • Regularly clean and sanitize surfaces that are touched often. These include food preparation surfaces, door knobs, touch screens, cash registers, faucet handles, cabinet/drawer pulls, menus, and other items 

  • Require employees not to shake hands

  • Make employees who have a fever and cold symptoms stay home for at least 3 days after they are symptom-free. Be flexible with sick time so employees can be paid during this time off

  • If an employee has been confirmed to have coronavirus, other employees who have had close contact with them (any contact at less than 6 feet distance for more than 10 minutes) should stay home for an additional 14 days.

  • Minimize touching ready-to-eat food with bare hands. 

  • Instruct employees to avoid touching their eyes, nose, and mouth and to minimize touching phones or other personal items.

  • Provide hand sanitizer for employees and customers.

More information about groceries, restaurants, and food

During San Francisco's stay home order, you can still access essential goods and services, including groceries, prepared foods such as delivery from restaurants, and cleaning supplies. Specifically: 

  • Grocery stores, farmers’ markets, farm and produce stands, supermarkets, food banks, convenience stores, and similar businesses can remain open to provide food and pet supplies. This includes stores that sell groceries as well as non-grocery items, such as cleaning and hygiene products.

  • Restaurants, bars, cafes, and food trucks can only serve delivery and take out. You can visit these businesses to pick up and take out meals or other items, but you cannot dine in or around the business.

  • Schools, soup kitchens, food banks, and other charities giving out free or reduced cost food can remain open to continue providing these critical services. However, food provided by these groups to the public cannot be eaten at the business.  Instead, food must be delivered or picked up like take out meals.

  • Food supplies are also essential goods and services, including farming, fishing, and wholesale food distribution.

Last updated March 24, 2020