Keeping Restaurants Safe During COVID-19 with Steven Mandernach

**AVAILABLE NOW: COVID-19 E-Book: 7 Tips and 21-Point Checklist to Prepare For Reopening. Download Your Free Copy.**


Trivia! Question: What association, established in 1896, helped create what’s now the Food and Drug Administration, and is one letter off from one of the coolest hair styles out there?

Answer: AFDO!

The Association of Food and Drug Officials (AFDO) is an organization that seeks to unify the health practices, laws, and rules within the food and medical industries. 

Their executive director, Steven Mandernach, came on this edition of Give An Ovation to talk about how your restaurant can stay clean and safe during COVID-19:

1. Contact Your Local Health Inspector/Whoever Issues Your Permits

Restrictions placed on restaurants due to COVID-19 vary across states, counties, and even cities. While Steven and his team at AFDO are working on standardizing the policies across the nation, it also makes sense for them to differ based on locations somewhat. For example, people in cities are located closer together, so there’s less room for outdoor dining than in rural areas.

So to make sure you’re aligned with your local health guidelines, call your health inspector or health department and find out straight from the source.

2. Focus On Employee Safety

One upside of this pandemic is that the food industry has never been more focused on healthy employees that wash their hands a lot – something that’s important regardless of a global health crisis. 

3. Get Vaccinated When It’s Released

Opinions about vaccines, well, differ – to put it lightly. Especially about one being developed as quickly as the one for corona virus, which is aimed to be ready for mass distribution around March of 2021. 

Steven acknowledged the potential trepidation of some, but assured that this isn’t some brand new, never-before-seen concoction out of the depths of some CDC basement laboratory that could turn everyone into zombies. Most of it’s formula is the same as vaccines that have been circulating successfully for years, adding slight modifications for COVID-19. 

4. Watch The Evolving Symptoms List

We’re learning more and more about the symptoms of the corona virus, so keep tabs on it. 

Other general suggestions from Steven were having employees wear masks, having their temperatures taken, and having them stay home from work if they’ve come in contact with anyone who has been exposed to the virus.

5. Look At Your Restaurant Through A Fresh Set Of Eyes

Steven suggests analyzing the traffic flow inside your restaurant. Where do people typically congregate, and how can you change that to better enforce social distancing? 

There are going to be permanent changes to the industry because of the corona virus, so be ready.


Thanks for reading! Make sure to check out the whole podcast, as well as other interviews with restaurant/business gurus by checking out “Give an Ovation” on YouTube,, or your favorite place to listen to podcasts. 

And don’t forget to follow AFDO on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, and YouTube for more timely COVID-19/restaurant content. 

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